Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (L) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands during a joint statement following their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India 20 March 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/HARISH TYAGI

Kishida discusses security, energy transition with Modi, Widodo

Hiroshima, Japan, May 20 (EFE).- Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday met his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, with whom he exchanged views on security and energy transition.

In a 40-minute meeting with Modi, Kishida “emphasized…the importance of upholding the principles of the UN Charter including sovereignty and territorial integrity, that unilateral change of the status quo by force must not be tolerated anywhere in the world, and the importance of maintaining a free and open international order based on the rule of law,” Japan’s foreign ministry said in a readout.

Kishida and Modi “shared a recognition of the importance of a cooperation among wide range of partners in addressing the challenges facing the international community” and pledged to continue to work closely together as the respective chairs of the G7 and G20 blocs, the ministry said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (L) shake hands with Indonesian President Joko Widodo (R) during their bilateral meeting ahead of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia,14 November 2022. EFE-EPA FILE/ACHMAD IBRAHIM/POOL

They also “agreed to make efforts to expand people-to-people exchanges through increasing the number of international students and the ‘Japan-India tourism exchange year’ in 2023, among other measures,” according to the statement.

India is one of the countries invited to the G7 summit and its participation at the meeting, dominated by the war in Ukraine, is especially significant given its affinity with Russia and its neutral stance on the conflict.

Kishida subsequently held a 25-minute meeting with Indonesian President Widodo.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations and the 50th anniversary of relations between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), chaired by Indonesia this year.

The leaders discussed the situation in Myanmar and agreed on “the importance of defending a free and open international order based on the rule of law,” the Japanese foreign ministry said.

Kishida expressed to Widodo his intention to support Indonesia’s plan to relocate its capital and asked him to join efforts against climate change, to which the Indonesian president mentioned several concrete projects to cooperate on decarbonization and energy transition.

Both Modi and Widodo have been invited to the G7 summit in Hiroshima, where the member countries seek to expand their alliances with a view to countering China’s growing influence and Russia’s weight in the current context of geopolitical tension. EFE