Japanese PM and wife take stroll with PM Modi in Indian attires

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe Shinzo in Ahmedabad Gujarat

An op-ed in the Global Times said "the India-Japan intimacy is more like a contrivance" and both were "are unlikely to challenge China without giving it a serious thought".

Despite this, big ticket deals like the sale of US-2 amphibious aircraft to India continue to be in limbo despite serious negotiations.

Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister is on a two day visit to India, where he is being hosted in Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi's home state. However, the fact is that both 2016 and 2015 Modi-Abe joint statements had a specific reference to South China Sea while underlining the significance of freedom of navigation.

"China's vast trade with Japan and India greatly dwarfs bilateral trade between India and Japan".

With China pushing its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, the statement said the two prime ministers welcomed the deepening of their connectivity dialogue aimed at achieving concrete progress, and chose to further accelerate such an initiative.

'A strong India is good for Japan and a strong Japan is good for India'.

Rudy, 4 other ministers resign ahead of reshuffle
Janata Dal (United), which recently joined the ruling National Democratic Alliance, is likely to get a berth in the new Cabinet. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are also likely to attend the meet in Vridavan on Saturday.

As both sides seek to elevate the bilateral ties, huge bonhomie has been on display since Abe's aircraft touched down on Wednesday evening with the visiting prime minister even doing a road show as he travelled to Sabarmati Ashram in an open Maruti Suzuki Gypsy shortly after his arrival.

"The two Prime Ministers expressed their strong commitment to work together to enhance connectivity in India and with other countries in the Indo-Pacific region including Africa", it said. Now, Japan is the third largest investor in India.

Jaishankar said the joint statement dealt with a full set of issues in the Indo-Pacific and under that all "sub-sets" were covered. China has been in the core of economic cooperation in Asia. With many seeing OBOR as an instrument to further China's geopolitical objectives, the two PMs delivered a clear message to Beijing as they called on India and Japan to play a central role in safeguarding a rule-based order in the India-Pacific through maritime security cooperation, more defence exchanges and by improving connectivity. They pledged to reinforce their efforts to align Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy with India's Act East Policy.

The project also signals New Delhi and Tokyo's close ties amid China's growing assertiveness in the region.

India and Japan also underlined the importance of all countries ensuring the development and use of connectivity infrastructure in an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner based on global standards and responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law, and the environment.

Meanwhile, both countries signed 15 pacts in key sectors, including civil aviation, trade, and science and technology.

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