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PM Modi, Japan’s Suga Yoshihide speak over phone; agree to boost ties

In a signal of close bilateral ties between India and Japan, PM Narendra Modi had a phone call on Friday with Japan’s new Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide.

Outgoing Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, in a special gesture, held a digital bilateral summit with Modi as a mark of deep friendship before demitting office due to ill-health. That the new Japanese PM puts India high up on his dialing list confirms the next regime’s interest in sustaining the close ties.

“The two leaders agreed that the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership has made great advances over the last few years and expressed their intention to further strengthen this relationship based upon mutual trust and shared values,’’ said an official news release.

The two leaders concurred that the partnership between the two countries is even more relevant in today’s times given the global challenges, including that of the Covid pandemic.

“They emphasised that the economic architecture of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region must be premised on resilient supply chains, and in this context, welcomed cooperation between India, Japan and other like-minded countries,’’ added the statement.

The PM invited Suga to visit India for the Annual Bilateral Summit, after improvement of the situation caused by the pandemic.