Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Japan for the fifth bilateral summit with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. The two are expected to build on “special strategic and global partnership" in various areas. Mint analyses the importance of the summit for the two countries.

What is the importance of Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit is expected to further consolidate ties between India and Japan. According to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, India’s economic growth is beneficial to his country, given that New Delhi is viewed as a counterweight or balance to China. To boost India’s economy, Japan had pledged an investment of 33.8 billion in government and private sector investments for five years, following the Modi-Abe meet in 2014. Japan’s ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu, said this investment was on track.

What are the big-ticket investments made by Japan in India?

Japan has invested in the $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, which will see the setting up of new cities, industrial parks, ports and airports, besides a 1,483km high-speed rail and road line. It is also backing the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train service and has already released the first tranche of 5,500 crore. The agreement for the second tranche will be signed on Monday. Japan is the third-largest source of FDI investment into India after Mauritius and Singapore. India has received $28.160 billion in FDI from Japan between April 2000 and June 2018.

Will defence be in focus?

India and Japan will attempt to consolidate their defence ties. After the joint army, navy and air force exercises, the two nations are looking to allow their respective naval forces to use each other’s facilities.

What are the likely takeaways from the bilateral meet?

India and Japan will look to expand their bilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said the two leaders could announce the start of a collaboration with a third country. In 2016, India and Japan had announced joint projects in Africa as part of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor. This will include capacity building, human resource development, creating quality infrastructure and institutional connectivity and people-to-people partnership.

What is the China factor?

Both India and Japan have initiated moves to recalibrate ties with China in the wake of an uncertain global order, thanks to US President Donald Trump’s unpredictable moves such as trade sanctions on friends (such as Japan) and foes (such as China). Abe was in Beijing recently, his first visit since 2012. In April, Modi visited Wuhan for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to reset ties. However, both countries are cautious about Beijing, due to its aggressive stance in the region.

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