Japan and India have expressed what Tokyo called “strong opposition to unilateral attempts” against changing status quo in maritime waters in Asia Pacific.
Yoshihide Suga, the prime minister of Japan, met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday, in Washington, ahead of the first in-person Quad summit to be also attended by the US and Australia.
“Suga hailed Modi as ‘an important partner’ toward realizing a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific and affirmed the importance of maritime security,” Japan’s Kyodo News reported citing the country’s Foreign Ministry.
“They also agreed to closely work bilaterally as well as with the Quad members to build a rules-based international order,” it added.
Without naming China, the report said, “the two leaders shared their strong opposition against economic coercion and unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China seas.”
China's expanding economic and military influence has brought the US together with Japan, Australia and India -- in form of Quad -- to push back Beijing's claims in the region.
The two leaders also discussed bilateral relations, trade and response to the pandemic.
Condemning North Korea's recent ballistic missiles test-firing, Suga urged India to “cooperate in finding a solution” regarding the abduction of Japanese citizens allegedly by North Korea in the past.
Terming his meeting with Suga as "excellent", Modi said in a Twitter post that Japan was “one of India’s most valued partners.”
“A strong India-Japan friendship augurs well for the entire planet,” he added.