TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is planning to visit India later in March for talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a government source said on Friday. Tokyo holds the presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) nations this year, the Nikkei Asia reported.
Kishida’s trip to India, which is currently chair of the Group of 20 (G20) economies for 2023, will come weeks after his government did not send Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to a meeting of the G20 top diplomats, held for two days through Thursday in New Delhi.
Hayashi’s absence triggered a backlash that Japan’s decision not to dispatch the country’s foreign minister to the G20 gathering could cast a shadow over relations between the two Asian nations.
Nikkei Asia reported that Kishida, who is likely to visit India for three days from March 19, has been eager to confirm with Modi that Tokyo and New Delhi, as this year’s G7 and G20 presidents, will work together more closely to tackle issues stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine, the source said.
In tandem with other G7 members, Japan has been bolstering economic sanctions on Russia. But India has abstained from implementing punitive measures against Russia. India has also emerged as a key nation of the ‘Global South’, a term that collectively refers to developing countries in areas such as Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Nikkei Asia reported that Kishida has been keen to deepen ties with such countries to pave the way for the success of the G7 in-person summit scheduled for May in Japan’s western city of Hiroshima, which was devastated by a US atomic bomb in World War II, the source said.
During the envisioned meeting, Kishida is expected to invite Modi to participate in the G7 summit, the source added. Along with the G7, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, the G20 also includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey. (ANI)