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Quad leaders’ meet: PM Modi pens a column in Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, here is what he wrote

A crisis can sometimes be a bigger challenge and accelerate change. That is why, now that the world is at a turning point, the cooperative relationship between the two countries requires heavier responsibility and urgency. India and Japan can meet these demands if they have everything they have built over the last few decades that they share.

PM Modi is currently in Japan to attend a Quad leaders’ meet. On May 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his op-ed in the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. In a tweet, he wrote, “Penned an op-ed on the vibrant relations between India and Japan. Ours is a partnership for peace, stability and prosperity. I trace the journey of our special friendship, which completes 70 glorious years.”

In his op-ed, PM Modi described the relationship between India and Japan in three words Special, Strategic and Global. However, he added that India and Japan have far more possibility of a stronger bond. PM Modi traced the cultural ties between the two nations and drew parallels on how the two countries share the same values on democracy, freedom and rule-based international order.

He remembered how Bodhisena, the Indian monk who spread Buddism in Japan during the Nara era, and Swami Vivekananda, the great religious leader of India, helped strengthen the ties between the two countries. He also mentioned the influence of Japan on MK Gandhi as the famous Japanese Three Monkeys “See, Hear, Say” are associated with him.

70-years of partnership

PM Modi said India and Japan are celebrating 70 years of partnership. PM said his belief in the India-Japan relationship started building up when the then-PM of Japan visited Gujarat when PM Modi was Chief Minister of the state. Japan had extended its support for the “Vibrant Gujarat Summit”.

He mentioned how Japan had become an irreplaceable collaborator in the process of promoting development and modernization. Multiple projects like the automobile industry, industrial corridor and more show how Japan supported India. The two countries are now looking forward to strengthening the bond in the post-covid period.

He said the two countries could be essential cornerstones of stability and security in the region. The cooperative relationship between the two countries is expanding into various fields, including defence. The two countries will further cooperate in the cyber, space, and underwater areas.

Full text of Pm Modi’s op-ed (Translated using Google Translate)

Special, strategic and global. These three words, which describe the relationship between Japan and India, have unparalleled importance one by one, but they are far from the possibility of the bond between the two countries.

Cultural ties go back centuries. A strong belief in sharing the values ​​of democracy, freedom and rule-based international order, as well as the alignment of regional and global perspectives, underlies trust and the relationship between India and Japan as genuine partners.

From Bodhisena (an Indian monk who spread Buddhism in Japan during the Nara era) to Swami Vivekananda (a great religious leader in India), the cultural ties between the two countries are mutual. It has a long and rich history of respect and learning. Among the collections that Mahatma Gandhi cherished is a small statue of the three wise monkeys, “See, hear, say.” Also, Judge Radhabinod Pal (India, the only person in the Tokyo Tribunal who was blamed for Japan’s war for innocence) is well known in Japan. The praise of Tagore’s poetry for Japan and his interaction with Tenshin Okakura was the driving force behind the early networking of artists and intellectuals from both countries.

As the two countries celebrate their 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations, this deep relationship lays a solid foundation for a mature partnership between India and Japan in modern times.

My own belief in this partnership began during the time of Prime Minister Gujarat. He was not only due to the sophistication of Japanese technology and skills but also because of his attitude of earnest and long-term involvement in Japanese leadership and business. As a result, Japan has become a preferred partner in the industrial sector in Gujarat (state). It has also shown its most outstanding presence since the start of the investment attraction event “Vibrant Gujarat Summit”.

Japan also proved that India is an irreplaceable collaborator in the process of promoting development and modernization. From the automobile industry to the industrial corridor, Japan’s investment and development support footprint extends throughout India. The high-speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad symbolizes Japan’s broad cooperation in the most important efforts towards a “new India.”

The two countries have had long-term traffic since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1952. However, in my opinion, the best time is yet to come. India and Japan are now looking to revitalize and rebuild their economies during the post-coronavirus period, further deepening our involvement in all areas, from trade to investment to defence and security. There is room for the unknown.

Over the last few years, India has embarked on strengthening its foundations in manufacturing, services, agriculture and digital technology infrastructure. Japan is an indispensable partner for the sustainable transformation of India. For Japan, India’s sense of speed and scale, combined with simplification and incentives for business practices, bold reforms and ambitious plans, will be a unique opportunity. India also has more than 100 unlisted unicorns (with a corporate value of more than $ 1 billion), creating a vibrant entrepreneurial environment. The Japanese capital has already played an important role and has much greater potential.

The connection between the peoples of both countries has played an indispensable role in deepening mutual understanding. Many Indians are now working in Japan and contributing to the Japanese economy and society. Just as Japanese business executives are contributing to India’s economic growth, this complementary relationship can be expanded in a wide variety of ways.

But our relationship has even greater responsibilities and goals. The spread of the new coronavirus infection, global tensions, and destructive actions that could threaten the stability and security of the Indo-Pacific build a robust supply chain that is not dominated by coercion or exploitation, human-based development models and power. Reiterated the need for stable international economic relations. The partnership between the two countries will help promote these objectives.

To that end, we will contribute to the construction of an open, free and inclusive Indo-Pacific. It is characterized by a safe ocean connection, integration by trade and investment, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity as documented in international law.

As two democracies located in the strategically important Indo-Pacific, both countries can be important cornerstones of stability and security in the region. That is why the cooperative relationship between the two countries is expanding into a wide range of fields, and the defence cooperation between the two countries is rapidly becoming closer, from joint exercises to information exchange and the defence industry. The two countries will further cooperate in the cyber, space, and underwater areas.

In addition to security, we have development, infrastructure, connectivity, sustainability, health, and vaccines, along with frameworks such as the “Quad” of Japan, the United States, Australia and India, countries that share values ​​both inside and outside the region. Promote initiatives in this region, such as capacity building and humanitarian response in the event of a disaster. The peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region is also very important for a better future for the whole world.

A crisis can sometimes be a bigger challenge and accelerate change. That is why, now that the world is at a turning point, the cooperative relationship between the two countries requires heavier responsibility and urgency. India and Japan can meet these demands if they have everything they have built over the last few decades that they share.

In March of this year, in New Delhi, Prime Minister Kishida and I presented a roadmap for deepening the “India-Japan Special Strategic Global Partnership” towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous post-Corona world. As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, we are building a decisive cooperative relationship in this region. I am confident that the meeting with Prime Minister Kishida will make solid progress towards the realization of this ambitious agenda.

PM Modi’s Japan visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently in Japan on his two-day visit to attend the Quad summit. This will be the second in-person Quad meeting. India, the United States, Japan and Australia are part of this group. The new PM of Australia Anthony Albanese and US president Joe Biden will be present at the summit too.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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