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Modi and Kishida to discuss Indo-Pacific issues alongside Ukraine Crisis

PM Modi and PM Kishida

The March 19-20 summit between PM Modi and PM Kishida, convened at Japan’s request, is essentially a repeat of the 2019 Modi-Abe summit in Guwahati, which was canceled owing to planned CAA protests.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will be visiting India this Saturday i.e 19th march and going to depart the next day for Cambodia. The two countries are expected to strengthen economic ties and share perspectives on the Ukraine situation and the Indo-Pacific. Kishida’s visit is a follow-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aborted physical summit with the-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Guwahati on December 15-17, which was canceled owing to staged protests in Assam over the Citizenship Amendment Act. Despite the global upheaval caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Japanese side wanted an early date for the Modi-Kishida meeting.

While PM Modi and PM Kishida are expected to exchange notes on the ongoing crisis, the main topic of discussion will be the Indo-Pacific, with a belligerent China threatening anyone who provides military support to Taiwan, participating in joint air exercises with the Russian air force in the Sea of Japan, and sending warships into Philippine territorial waters in the Sulu Sea.

Although Japan has increased conventional deterrence in response to Chinese belligerence in the Indo-Pacific, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Kishida, who represents Hiroshima in the Japanese House of Representatives, is adamantly opposed to Japan acquiring nuclear weapons or abandoning its pacifist doctrine. On August 6, 1945, in the final year of World War II, the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. In the meantime, Japan has strengthened defense ties with both the Philippines and Australia.

PM Kishida is expected to speak at a business event during his visit to New Delhi, where the two close allies will explore the idea of expanding the bullet train project beyond the Mumbai-Ahmedabad line. The two presidents will also discuss how to develop resilient supply chains between partner countries that are not influenced by global politics or reliant on antagonistic countries.

The two presidents will also discuss the forthcoming QUAD meeting in Tokyo, which will take place after the Australian federal elections in May 2022, with the Chinese regularly criticizing the security grouping, referring to it as a Cold War weapon and branding it Asian NATO against Beijing. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar dismissed this as a clumsy analogy at the Munich Security Conference last month.

While the two presidents will debate Chinese military action in East Ladakh and the Senkaku Islands, they will also examine the situation in the Af-Pak area, with the Taliban in control of Kabul and the so-called Islamic State rearing its head against Pakistan’s Shia Muslim community.

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