PM Modi holds bilateral talks with Japanese counterpart Kishida, thanks him for G7 summit invite

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New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida on Monday held wide-ranging bilateral discussions.

The talks between the two leaders were held here after Kishida arrived in India this morning on a two-day official visit.

He also extended an invitation to Modi to attend the G7 leaders' summit, which is to be held in May this year in Hiroshima.

The invitation has been accepted by the prime minister.

During the talks, both leaders vowed to expand the India-Japan global strategic partnership, stressing that it is important for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Addressing the media after the bilateral talks, Modi referred to India's presidency of the G20 and Japan chairing the G7 grouping, and said it is the best opportunity to work together on priorities of both sides for global good.

"Today, I told PM Kishida in detail about the priorities of our G20 presidency. An important foundation of our G20 presidency is to voice the priorities of the Global South. A culture that believes in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, believes in going ahead by bringing everyone together," Modi said.

He also thanked Kishida for inviting him to the G7 leaders' summit.

"In September this year, I will again get the opportunity to welcome PM Fumio Kishida to India for the G20 Leaders' Summit," Modi said.

Welcoming his Japanese counterpart to India, the prime minister said, "In the last one year, PM Fumio Kishida and I have met several times and every time I've felt his positivity and commitment to the India-Japan bilateral relationship. His today's visit will be beneficial to maintain this momentum."

Adding further, Modi said, "That is why we have taken this initiative. The India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership is based on our mutual democratic values and respect for rule of law on international platforms."

Kishida unveiled "on Indian soil" his plan "for a free and open Indo-Pacific". The exact details of what his vision of a free Indo-Pacific would entail though, are yet to be known.

"Our economic cooperation with India, which continues to grow rapidly, will not only support the further development of India but also create significant economic opportunities for Japan. In this regard, we welcome that steady progress is being made towards realising 5 trillion yen of public and private investment in financing from Japan to India in five years," the Japanese prime minister said after the bilateral discussions.

"We will continue to work on decarbonisation and energy. 2023 will be the year of the Japan-India tourism exchange to promote our exchanges through tourism. I welcome the renewal of our MoC on Japanese language education," he added.

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