India, Japan call for peaceful, stable and prosperous post-Covid world
23 March 2022
Prime Minister of Japan Kishida Fumio and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who met for the 14th India-Japan Annual Summit on Sunday reaffirmed the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan. The prime ministers concurred that the shared values and principles enunciated in the India-Japan Vision Statement issued in 2018 are particularly relevant in the present context, where global cooperation is required more than ever to address challenges that have become more acute.
The summit is taking place at a significant time as the two countries were celebrating the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations and India was celebrating the 75th anniversary of its independence. They reviewed the developments since the last Annual Summit and discussed wide ranging areas of cooperation.
They highlighted their commitment to working in tandem towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous world, based on a rules-based order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, and emphasised the need for all countries to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law without resorting to threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change status quo.
In this regard, they reaffirmed their common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, free from coercion. They shared the view that the economies of both countries in such a world would be powered by robust bilateral investment and trade flows through diversified, resilient, transparent, open, secure and predictable global supply chains that provide for economic security and prosperity of their peoples.
Reaffirming that the two countries would continue to work together to realise these shared objectives, they resolved to further advance the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
The prime ministers appreciated the significant progress made in security and defence cooperation and reaffirmed their desire to further deepen it. They welcomed the holding of the first 2+2 meeting of their foreign and defence ministers in November 2019 in New Delhi and instructed their ministers to hold the second meeting at the earliest opportunity in Tokyo.
They also welcomed the operationalisation of the Agreement Concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Japan Self-Defence Forces and the Indian Armed Forces. They expressed their commitment to continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises, including "Dharma Guardian” and "Malabar” respectively, while welcoming the participation of Japan for the first time in exercise MILAN, as well as making efforts to increase their complexity in the future.
They reaffirmed the decision to proceed with coordination for the inaugural fighter exercise between the Japan Air Self-Defence Force and the Indian Air Force and welcomed the efforts to hold the exercise at the earliest. They acknowledged ongoing collaboration in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Robotics and directed their ministers to further identify concrete areas for future cooperation in the area of defence equipment and technology.
With their commitment to promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, the prime ministers affirmed the importance of bilateral and plurilateral partnerships among like-minded countries of the region, including the quadrilateral cooperation among Australia, India, Japan, and the United States (the Quad). They welcomed the Quad Leaders’ summits in March and September 2021 and renewed their commitment to delivering tangible outcomes on the Quad’s positive and constructive agenda, especially on COVID vaccines, critical and emerging technologies, climate action, infrastructure coordination, cybersecurity, space and education. They looked forward to advancing Quad cooperation through the next Quad Leaders’ Summit in Japan in the coming months.
Prime Minister Kishida welcomed the Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Modi in 2019. The prime ministers acknowledged the growing space for cooperation between the IPOI and Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). India appreciated Japan’s participation as a lead partner on the connectivity pillar of IPOI. They reiterated their strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality and their full support for the "ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)” which upholds the principles such as the rule of law, openness, freedom, transparency and inclusiveness.
The prime ministers emphasised that India and Japan, as two leading powers in the Indo-Pacific region, have a shared interest in the safety and security of the maritime domain, freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with international law. They reaffirmed their determination to continue prioritising the role of international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges against the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas. They emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint. They further called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the early conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS, without prejudice to the rights and interests of all nations, including those not party to these negotiations.
The prime ministers condemned North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile launches in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). They reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearisation of North Korea consistent with the relevant UNSCRs, and the importance of addressing concerns related to North Korea’s proliferation linkages. They urged North Korea to fully comply with its international obligations under the relevant UNSCRs, and to immediately resolve the abductions issue.
The prime ministers reaffirmed their intention to collaborate closely to realise peace and stability in Afghanistan, and stressed the importance of addressing humanitarian crisis, promoting human rights and ensuring establishment of a truly representative and inclusive political system. They also reaffirmed the importance of UNSCR 2593 (2021) which unequivocally demands that Afghan territory not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing terrorist acts and called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including those sanctioned by the UNSC.
The prime ministers expressed deep concern at the growing threat of terrorism and underlined the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner. They called upon all countries to work together for rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists. In this context, they also called upon all countries to ensure that territory under their control is not used to launch terror attacks, to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks.
The prime ministers called on Myanmar to urgently implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus.
They expressed serious concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications, particularly to the Indo-Pacific region. They emphasised that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. They underscored the importance of safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine and acknowledged active efforts of the IAEA towards it. They reiterated their call for an immediate cessation of violence and noted that there was no other choice but the path of dialogue and diplomacy for resolution of the conflict. The leaders affirmed that they would undertake appropriate steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Prime Minister Kishida congratulated India on its successful Presidency of the UN Security Council in August 2021, including Prime Minister Modi’s chairmanship of the UNSC at the High-Level Open Debate on "Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Maritime Security”. Prime Minister Modi reiterated India's support for Japan's candidature for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC for the term 2023-2024, to which Prime Minister Kishida expressed his appreciation. They concurred to continue to work closely on matters in the UNSC during the respective tenures of India and Japan. The prime ministers resolved to continue to work closely together for an early reform of the UNSC to reflect the contemporary realities of the 21st century. They expressed their determination to accelerate its process, including through the commencement of text-based negotiations in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) with an overall objective to achieve concrete outcomes in a fixed timeframe. They reaffirmed their shared recognition that India and Japan are legitimate/deserving candidates for permanent membership in an expanded UNSC.
The prime ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and remained resolute in the task of strengthening international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Prime Minister Kishida stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). They called for an immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral, and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament on the basis of Shannon Mandate. They pledged to continue working together for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, with the aim of strengthening the global non-proliferation efforts.