Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Visits India: Strengthening Bilateral Ties Amid Rising Chinese Assertiveness

On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived in New Delhi for a 27-hour visit to explore ways to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Japan. The two countries’ leaders are expected to discuss defence and security, trade and investment, and high technologies, among other issues. They will also discuss priorities for India’s presidency of the G20 and Japan’s presidency of the G7.

PM Kishida’s visit is significant as he is expected to unveil his plan for a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” highlighting India’s role in the region, and discuss the evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific in the context of China’s rising military assertiveness. PM Kishida’s ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Plan for Peace’ plan is expected to provide details of Japan’s policy and approach towards the Indo-Pacific.

Japan’s Indo-Pacific strategy aims to promote a rules-based order, freedom of navigation, and open markets in the region. Japan has been a long-standing ally of India and has been providing assistance in various fields, including infrastructure development and security.

The visit is expected to strengthen India-Japan ties, especially in the face of China’s increasing assertiveness in the region. The two countries have been cooperating closely on issues such as maritime security, defence, and infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific.

In recent years, several leading powers have come out with their strategies for the Indo-Pacific, with China’s Belt and Road Initiative being the most prominent. India, Japan, and the US have been working together to provide an inclusive, transparent, and alternative vision for the Indo-Pacific that respects international norms.

PM Kishida’s visit comes at a crucial time when the global order is in a state of flux, and China’s rise as a superpower is altering the balance of power in the region. The Indo-Pacific has emerged as a critical theatre of geopolitical competition, with India and Japan playing a crucial role in shaping the region’s future. The visit is an opportunity for the two countries to build on their strategic partnership and work together to ensure a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific.