Modi departs for Japan just after Abe's China visit
By Li Deyi
"India and Japan are a winning combination," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement before leaving for Japan to attend an annual summit beginning on Sunday, soon after Shinzo Abe returned home after a three-day official visit in China.
Abe's visit to China, from October 25-27, was the first visit by a Japanese prime minister in seven years.
The two-day summit between Abe and Modi will be the Indian prime minister's 12th meeting with Abe since he first visited Japan as prime minister in September 2014.
Indo-Pacific top on agenda
The visit aims at boosting trade and investment ties and bilateral cooperation in new areas, the statement said.
At a regular press briefing, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the Indo-Pacific will be a major topic for discussion during the summit on Monday, indicating development aid under Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) program will also be discussed.
Bilateral issues, regional security situation, as well as defense and security cooperation, will also be key focuses during the summit.
Other possible deliberations may revolve around connectivity projects in the Northeast, the Dedicated Freight Corridor, and the purchase of Japanese submarines, according to Indian media.
India-Japan partnership to get further impetus
India's partnership with Japan is of great substance and purpose, Modi said in the statement.
Japan is one of the most trusted partners in India's economic and technological modernization and one of the top investors in the country, Modi said.
Modi hailed the special strategic and global partnership between India and Japan, adding that the partnership rests on the strong pillars of India's "Act East Policy."
Japanese ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu said the partnership that India and Japan share is expected to get a further impetus.
India welcomes improvement in China-Japan ties
Abe's visit to China will not have any negative impact on Modi's upcoming visit, said Gokhale.
"I can say with confidence that not only will there be no impact on India-Japan relationship but we also welcome the improvement in Sino-Japanese ties," he added.
(Cover photo: File photo of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi /VCG Photo)