(New Delhi/Vladivostok: Japanese Prime Minister will be visiting India in December for the annual India-Japan summit that alternates between India and Japan. PM Modi had visited Japan last year in October for the summit during which, in a special gesture, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had hosted a private dinner for him at his ancestral home in Yamanashi, the first such reception to be extended to a foreign leader. The two prime ministers are personal friends and have known each other for a long time.
The development comes in the backdrop of Modi-Abe bilateral meeting that happened on Thursday on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok. It was decided before the summit scheduled for December, that both sides will have the first 2+2 foreign and defence ministers meet.
Indo-pacific and joint projects in Africa were discussed during the meeting. Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said, "There was a discussion on the Indo Pacific, this is an issue on which India and Japan share similar views. PM Abe spoke about free and open Indo Pacific and of the importance of bilateral cooperation in that regard both on the economic side and people to people ties."
Both leaders gave a "very positive assessment" of India-Japan-US trilateral mee that happened on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Argentina on December 2018 and in Japan on July 2018.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between 16 nations was also discussed with PM mentioning that India "has some issues of interest both in trade in goods and trade in services" and that this "should be kept in mind when any regional trading arrangement is made so that there is a comfort level on all sides" for the agreement.
(With inputs from Kartikeya Sharma)