Published On: Sat, Mar 4th, 2023

Japan’s Prime Minister plans three-day visit to India from March 19

File photo of Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

File photo of Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
| Photo Credit: AP

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to visit India later this month for talks with his counterpart Narendra Modi, a government source said on March 3, even as Tokyo holds the presidency of the Group of Seven nations this year, the Nikkei Asia reported.

Mr. Kishida’s trip to India, currently chair of the Group of 20 economies for 2023, would come weeks after his government did not send Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to a meeting of the G20 top diplomats, held for two days through Thursday in New Delhi.

Mr. Hayashi’s absence triggered a backlash that Japan’s decision not to dispatch the country’s foreign minister to the G-20 gathering could cast a shadow over relations between the two Asian nations.

Nikkei Asia reported that Mr. Kishida, who is likely to visit India for three days from March 19, has been eager to confirm with Mr. Modi that Tokyo and New Delhi, as this year’s G7 and G20 presidents, will work together more closely to tackle issues stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine, the source said.

In tandem with other G7 members, Japan has been bolstering economic sanctions on Russia. But India has abstained from implementing punitive measures against Russia.

India has also emerged as a key nation of the “Global South”, a term that collectively refers to developing countries in areas such as Asia, Africa and Latin America.

ALSO READ | G20: India’s platform for global leadership

Nikkei Asia reported that Mr. Kishida has been keen to deepen ties with such countries to pave the way for the success of the G-7 in-person summit scheduled for May in Japan’s western city of Hiroshima, which was devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in World War II, the source said.

During the envisioned meeting, Mr. Kishida is expected to invite Mr. Modi to participate in the G7 summit, the source added.

Along with the G7, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, the G20 also includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.

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