India and Japan’s relationship has over the years matured into a strategic partnership with the two countries having a facility to strengthen their engagement

While hailing India-Japan relationship which has now evolved into strategic partnership, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Japan is the only country with which India holds an annual summit as well as a two-plus-two dialogue.

“Japan is probably the only country with which we have annual summit as well as two-plus-two meeting. We have countries with which have either annual summits or two-plus-two meeting. But it is only with Japan, we have a combination of both two-plus-two dialogue and annual summit,” Jaishankar said on Friday while speaking at the launch of India-Japan report by FICCI.

“This relationship has become strategic, each country perceives developments in others as having a strategic relevance to their calculations and we are talking much more about issues which go beyond our relatively narrow interests,” he said.

“Indian and Japanese leaders when they meet and talk now, the breadth of their conversation, landscape of interaction and the playing arena has become broader. That's an important development, signifies maturing of relationships,” he added.

The External Affairs Minister said this when Japan has undergone a leadership change with Yoshihide Suga becoming the new Prime Minister of the East Asian country after long-term Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned on the health ground.

Talking about India-Japan partnership in the Indo-Pacific region, Jaishankar said both countries have a vision for the region. “Both of us, in many ways, tried to shape Indo-Pacific narrative. It has been shaped really as reflecting the rebalancing of the world.”

Advancing his argument on the issue, he said, “There is also rebalancing of Asia. There are fundamental changes in the strategic landscape of Asia and I think, today, the seamlessness of what happens in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions underlines the importance and relevance of Indo-Pacific region.”

With regard to recent signing of Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the two countries, he said, “It is a practical manifestation of our ability and interest to work together. I am confident that it would both be a big plus for the evolution of the Indo-Pacific vision of both countries and add to stability and security of Asia.”

He said over the years, the India-Japan relationship has acquired many more facets. “What was significantly G to G relationship with ODA (Official Development Assistance) in the heart of it, the relationship has very much become B to B with ODA and G to G still there.”

As for expansion of partnership with Japan for projects in the third countries, he said both India and Japan have already a partnership in third countries for infrastructure and project development. “We’ve done a little bit of that in Sri Lanka and I think we’re today trying to see whether we can cooperate and coordinate more closely in Bangladesh and Myanmar,” he said.