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Amid China’s aggression, Yoshihide Suga plans maiden India visit as Japan PM this month


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is planning to visit India later this month, in what would be his maiden trip to New Delhi as Abe’s successor, to discuss regional security to bolster a free and open Indo-Pacific region amid China’s growing aggression in the South China Sea and East China Sea regions.

The visit is under active consideration at the fag end of this month after the proposed visit of the British PM, ET has learnt.

If the visit materialises it will also provide an opportunity to give a boost to the Resilient Supply Chain initiative launched by India-Japan-Australia last year as well as Japanese investments in India following incentives being offered by the Modi government, ET has further learnt.

Since he became PM Suga had spoken to Indian PM number of times over phone. And two were also part of the maiden Quad summit convened by the USA.

India’s ties with Japan has gained in momentum over the years with special focus on strategic issues, defence and high technology besides investments. India and Japan were early proponents of Indo-Pacific construct for rebalancing. Besides India-Japan-Russia have launched trilateral format. India and Japan are also part of other trilaterals separately with USA and Australia.

Suga’s visit is likely to take place towards the end of this month after a planned trip to Washington, Japanese media NHK reported on Wednesday, citing informed sources.

Japan has been trying to enhance security cooperation with democracies amid China’s attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in the South China Sea and Senkaku Islands.

Recently, more than 200 Chinese vessels have massed the Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea claimed by both China and the Philippines.

The Philippine foreign ministry on Monday said China’s claims that the boats were sheltering from bad weather were “blatant falsehoods” and “clearly [a] false narrative of China’s expansive and illegitimate claims in the West Philippine Sea”.

Last month, the foreign and defence ministers of Japan and Indonesia held a meeting in the 2+2 format and expressed commitment to working toward a free and open Indo-Pacific.


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