The visit is taking place at the time when India and Japan are holding the Presidencies of the G20 and G7, respectively

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will be arriving in India on Monday on a two-day visit, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Earlier, The Japan News quoted government sources as saying that Prime Minister Kishida, during his visit, is all set to invite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a G7 summit to be held in Hiroshima City in May.

The Japanese Prime Minister’s visit assumes high significance as it is taking place at the time when the world is witnessing sharp changes in the geopolitical situation, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.

Moreover, the visit is taking place at the time when India and Japan are holding the Presidencies of the G20 and G7, respectively. This visit therefore gives both countries an opportunity to cooperate and discuss on how G20 and G7 can work together on converging our priorities on critical global issues, including food and health security, energy transitions and economic security.

“The meeting gives us an opportunity to review the progress made in our bilateral ties since the last summit meeting held in March 2022,” the MEA said.

It should be noted that India and Japan share ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’. India-Japan relations were elevated to ‘Global Partnership’ in 2000, ‘Strategic and Global Partnership’ in 2006, and ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ in 2014.

Since 2006, the two countries have been holding regular annual summits; the last annual summit was held in March 2022 in New Delhi.

Japan is a very close partner with which India conducts both an annual summit and a 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial meeting.

India-Japan partnership encompasses a wide range of areas, ranging from defence and security, trade and investment, S&T, Education, healthcare, critical and emerging technologies, and several others.

In 2022, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Kishida met 3 times; Prime Minister Kishida visited India for the 14th Annual Summit in March; and Prime Minister Modi visited Tokyo in May for the Quad Summit and in September for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Defence and security ties

Defence and security cooperation has emerged as one of the most important pillars of India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership and an important factor in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The successful conduct of the first fighter jet exercise “Veer Guardian” in January 2023 in Japan between the two countries was a significant milestone. This was followed closely by the 4th “Dharma Guardian” army exercise, which was conducted for the first time in Japan.

Maritime security cooperation including navy to navy cooperation has seen significant progress with a large number of exercises being conducted.

In November last year, India took part in the International Fleet Review in Japan and the Malabar exercise off the Coast of Japan. This was preceded by the JIMEX between our two navies in September.

“We are also making steady progress under the Defence Equipment and Technology Agreement signed in 2015,” the MEA said.

Commercial and economic ties

India-Japan bilateral trade stood at USD 20.75 billion last year, which was the largest ever.

Japan and India have set up Japan Industrial Townships or JITs to promote economic partnership, investment, industry, and infrastructure development. These are integrated industrial parks with ready-made operational platforms; world class infrastructure facilities; plug-in-play factories; and investment incentives for Japanese companies. There are currently 11 functioning JITs spread across 8 states.

India and Japan have a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) since 2011. The Agreement covers not only trade in goods but also services, movement of natural persons, investments, intellectual property rights, custom procedures, and other trade related issues.

India and Japan have an Industrial Competitiveness Partnership (IJICP) under which both countries are cooperating to promote industrial cooperation between the two countries. A Roadmap under IJICP was launched at the Annual Summit held in New Delhi in March 2022. (The meeting of the IJICP took place in Tokyo on 28 February 2023. The meeting was co-chaired by the Secretary, DPIIT from the Indian side and the Vice Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry from the Japanese side).

Japan is the 5th largest investor in India. A large number of Japanese companies are exploring opportunities in India in several sectors. Today, there are around 1450 Japanese companies that are operating in India, in comparison to only a few hundred over 8 years back. As of date, 26 Japanese companies have benefited from Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Schemes.

Japan has been extending bilateral loan and grant assistance to India since 1958. Japan is the largest bilateral donor to India. The Japanese ODA supports India’s efforts for accelerated economic development particularly in priority areas like power, transportation, environmental projects, and projects related to basic human needs.

Skill development and movement of skilled workers

Skill development and movement of skilled workers from India to Japan is an area where complementarities between Indian and Japanese economies exist. India and Japan have signed Memorandums of Cooperation on Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) and Specified Skilled Worker (SSW).

Till January 2023, 606 candidates have come under TITP arrangement to Japan and have found internships in various companies in Japan. Under the Specified Skilled Workers Programme (SSW), which facilitates employment of skilled Indian professionals in Japan, 120 Indian youth have already been gainfully employed in Japan.

Clean Energy Partnership

Japan and India launched a Clean Energy Partnership during the Annual Summit held last year. It aims to promote energy cooperation between Japan and India through diverse and realistic energy transitions utilizing all energy sources and technologies to ensure energy security, carbon neutrality and economic growth.