Ukraine and China dominated the agenda for PM Narendra Modi’s first summit meeting with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida even as the 2 countries announced investments worth close to $ 42 billion by Japan into India over a period of 5 years, surpassing the $ 33 billion announced by Tokyo in 2014.
While Modi didn't mention Ukraine in his press statement, Kishida said he had told his Indian counterpart any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo anywhere should never be tolerated. Japan claimed there was an agreement with India on this issue even though it wasn't confirmed by any Indian official.
However, an India-Japan joint statement issued later also underlined the significance of international law and the need to resolve disputes without any use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo, even though it didn't name Russia or Ukraine.
Apart from the need to prevent any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo, Japan said the 2 countries had also agreed on 3 other points, namely the need for a peaceful solution, immediate cessation of violence, and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.
Seeking a common stand on Russia's action against Ukraine, Kishida, according to a Japanese spokesperson, sought cooperation from Modi in convincing President Vladimir Putin to maintain a ``free and open international order''.
According to the spokesperson, Kishida said in the meeting that as a victim of a nuclear attack, Japan believes any nuclear threat, let alone its use, cannot be tolerated.
In his press statement, he said Russia’s invasion is a serious issue that has shaken the international order and that there is a need for a peaceful situation on the basis of international law.
"Japan, along with India, will keep trying to end the war and keep providing support to Ukraine and its neighboring countries," said Kishida.
Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said later that the ``important’’ issue was figured out in the meeting and that Modi and Kishida sought immediate cessation of violence along with dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the crisis.
The joint statement said Modi and Kishida expressed their serious concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications, particularly for the Indo-Pacific region. While Japan has imposed sanctions on Russia, India is yet to condemn Russia's actions in Ukraine.
``They emphasized that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.
They underscored the importance of safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine and acknowledged active efforts of the IAEA towards it,’’ it said, adding they will also take steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
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According to Shringla, the Indian side briefed Japan about China’s amassing of troops along the LAC and also underscored India’s position that there cannot be ``business as usual’’ or ``normalcy’’ with China till the ongoing military standoff is resolved. This is significant as the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi
The 2 countries also signed 6 agreements including one for cyber security cooperation and also launched a sustainable development initiative for India’s northeast and a clean energy partnership.
In what the Japanese media saw as an endorsement of Japan’s position on Ukraine by India, the joint statement said the 2 leaders highlighted their commitment to working in tandem towards a peaceful, stable, and prosperous world, based on a rules-based order that
``Respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations’’, and emphasized the need for all countries to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with ``international law without resorting to threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change status quo’’.
In his press statement, Modi expresses happiness that the $ 33 billion Japanese investment target as announced in 2014 had been achieved and said that, building upon their aspirations, there was now a new target of $ 42 billion over the next 5 years that will allow greater involvement of Japanese companies in the Indian economy.
He recalled the improvement in India’s ease of doing business rankings and also the opportunities provided by the Make in India initiative for the world.
China’s activities in the East and South China Sea also figured in the talks with both sides reaffirming their determination to continue prioritizing the role of international law, particularly UNCLOS, and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges against the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas.
``They emphasized the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint. They further called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the early conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, especially
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UNCLOS, without prejudice to the rights and interests of all nations including those not party to these negotiations,’’ said the joint statement. Source: MSN