During his maiden visit to the US as the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, said Tokyo will “further enhance” the ‘Japan-India Special Strategic Global Partnership’ in order to strengthen Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategic framework.

Kishida, who met US President Joe Biden in Washington earlier this week, has said, in a strong signal to China, that he will soon upgrade Japan’s Indo-Pacific policy, and also organise a commemorative summit with all the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in December this year.

The Japanese PM said along with ASEAN, India will also continue to be a crucial partner for Japan.

“Let me also note the importance of the relationship with India. India is this year’s G20 Presidency and a partner with shared fundamental values and strategic interests. India is expected to surpass China’s population and stands as the world’s largest democracy,” Kishida said, addressing the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

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He added: “We will further enhance the “Japan-India Special Strategic Global Partnership,” forged between our two countries, and continue to work together in pursuit of a FOIP.”

For the first time this year, India and Japan will be holding a joint air exercise called ‘Veer Guardian’ in the backdrop of growing Chinese aggression. The exercise will be taking place from January 16 to January 26 in Japan.

Japan is also a partner in the Quad grouping along with India, US and Australia.

Kishida visited India in March 2022 for the first time as Japan’s PM for the India-Japan Annual Summit. During the visit, both sides decided to come together against the growing Chinese belligerence.


In his lecture to SAIS, Kishida also said he discussed China’s growing military activities with President Biden.

He said China has to undertake a strategic decision that “it will abide by the established international rules and that it cannot and will not change the international order in ways that are contrary to these rules”.

He even discussed his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping when he held a summit meeting with Biden and that he has raised concerns about the situation in the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands, and China’s military activities such as its launch of ballistic missiles into the waters near Japan including our Exclusive Economic Zone last August.

Last December, Japan came out with a ‘National Security Strategy’ wherein the Indo-Pacific policy has taken a central position.

“China has intensified its attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the maritime and air domains including in the East and South China Seas, such as its intrusions into the territorial waters and airspace around the Senkaku Islands, and has expanded and intensified its military activities that affect Japan’s national security in the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean, and other areas as well,” the strategy stated.

It also said: “China is strengthening its strategic ties with Russia and attempting to challenge the international order.”

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