Foreign Affairs

Japanese Foreign Minister To Visit India This Week Amid Growing Tensions With China

Swarajya Staff

Jul 24, 2023, 12:53 PM | Updated 01:04 PM IST

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. (Pic: Bloomberg)
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi. (Pic: Bloomberg)

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is scheduled to visit India this week as part of his tour in Asia and Africa.

His main focus will be on Japan's cooperation with the Global South and the Indo-Pacific policy introduced by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Delhi earlier this year.

During his visit, Hayashi plans to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, as well as business and academic delegations. The discussions will cover bilateral ties and efforts to align Japan's G-7 Presidency with India's G-20 Presidency.

Hayashi recently held a press conference in Tokyo where he expressed his intention to enhance ties with "South West Asia and Africa" during his visits to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, South Africa, Uganda, and Ethiopia. He highlighted the importance of strengthening relationships with international partners, particularly those in the Global South, as part of Japan's G-7 Presidency.

The Japanese Foreign Minister emphasized that the government aims to further strengthen relations with countries in South West Asia and Africa to promote a "free and open Indo-Pacific" region. He expressed the desire to engage in discussions with these countries from this perspective.

The visits to India and other countries in Asia and Africa are part of Japan's efforts to prioritize cooperation with the Global South and advance the Indo-Pacific policy. Hayashi's visit to India will involve meetings with key Indian officials and discussions on various aspects of bilateral relations, as well as coordination between Japan's G-7 Presidency and India's G-20 Presidency.

In his Indo-Pacific policy address in Delhi, Prime Minister Kishida highlighted the importance of South Asia, particularly in terms of assisting Sri Lanka with its debt restructuring process in a fair and transparent manner. He also mentioned the cooperation between Japan, India, and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal-Northeast India industrial value chain concept, aimed at fostering growth in the region.

Various Japanese ministers and dignitaries have been visiting India this month.

Earlier, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura and India's Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on semiconductors, focusing on design and manufacturing collaborations.

Japan's Health and Labour Minister Katsunobu Kato also traveled to India for G-20 Ministerial meetings, while Japanese PM Kishida's advisor Masako Mori visited India ahead of his G-20 visit in September.

Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited Delhi in July as the Chair of the Japan-India Association (JIA), meeting with PM Modi and organizing a business summit.

During his visit to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Africa, Hayashi will primarily focus on development initiatives undertaken by Japan in these regions. He will also explore potential projects under consideration in Africa.

Additionally, his visit to South Africa, which precedes the BRICS summit of emerging economies, is expected to bring significant announcements.

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