India and Japan: A special partnership
Today, I am visiting India, making my first bilateral visit since my appointment as Prime Minister. Linked by universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, which have been shared through a long history of exchange, Japan and India are “Special Strategic and Global Partners,” which share strategic interests. In this milestone year, marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India, I am dearly looking forward to this visit, the first by a serving Prime Minister of Japan in four and a half years, and to be able to feel for myself the tremendous dynamism of India.
Since my appointment as Prime Minister in October last year, I have been concentrating on measures to overcome Covid-19, and working towards the realisation of a “new form of capitalism” that will revive the economy through a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution. As part of such measures, I am focusing on finding solutions to various social challenges, including digital, climate change and economic security in the growth strategy. India is certainly the best partner to have when seeking to realise a “new form of capitalism,” as showcased in India’s contribution in response to the global health crisis as a major manufacturing base, leadership in decarbonisation efforts, including through the International Solar Alliance, engagement in advanced digital society initiatives such as Aadhaar, and the promotion of economic security initiatives, including measures for supply chain resilience. These are why I was hoping to visit India as soon as possible after my appointment as Prime Minister.
Today, the international community faces a situation that is undermining the very foundation of the global order. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a clear violation of international law as well as an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force, and it is totally unacceptable. Upholding the core principles of the international order is indispensable from the perspective of diplomacy and security in the Indo-Pacific, where the situation has been rapidly worsening. Japan will unite with the international community and take resolute actions. In the recent Japan-Australia-India-US (Quad) Leaders’ Video Conference, in which Prime Minister Modi and I participated, we concurred that any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force, such as this time, must not be tolerated in the Indo-Pacific region, and that it is precisely because of this situation that it is critical to further promote efforts toward the realisation of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”.
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