NEW DELHI: Hours after jointly inaugurating work on India's first bullet train, India and Japan strongly pitched for a "zero-tolerance" approach towards terrorism and agreed to strengthen cooperation against terror groups like Al-Qaida and Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The two countries signed 15 agreements in key areas, including civil aviation, trade after wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe as they discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in strategic areas of defence, security, trade and civil nuclear energy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe emphasised the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and violent extremism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence. They called for enhanced bilateral cooperation in this regard.
“The two Prime Ministers also called for Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist attacks including those of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai and the 2016 terrorist attack in Pathankot. They looked forward to the convening of the fifth India-Japan Consultation on Terrorism and to strengthening cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaida, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lakshar-e-Tayyiba, and their affiliates,” according to the joint statement issued after the summit.
The two leaders also condemned in the "strongest terms" the growing menace of terrorism and violent extremism, it said.
"They shared the view that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is a global scourge that must be forcefully combated through concerted global action in the spirit of 'zero tolerance'," the document said. The two prime ministers called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels and halting cross-border movement of terrorists, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
The joint statement also stated that Modi and Abe called upon all UN member countries to implement UNSC resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions dealing with the designation of terrorist entities.
While both countries agreed to enhance military cooperation, both leaders are looking forward to the possibility of joint field exercises between Indian Army and Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) in 2018, and reciprocal visits by air assets to each other’s country.
Two leaders also noted recent progress in bilateral cooperation on defence equipment and technology, including the commencement of the technical discussion for the future research collaboration in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicles and Robotics. “Japan’s readiness to provide its state-of-the-art US-2 amphibian aircraft was appreciated as symbolising the high degree of trust between the two countries. The two governments decided to continue their discussions in this regard,” statement further read.
Besides, emphasizing the significance of defence and security cooperation in enhancing the strategic partnership between the two countries, in this context, both leaders welcomed the regular and institutionalised engagement through the annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue, the National Security Advisers' dialogue, the "2+2” Dialogue, the Defence Policy Dialogue and Service-to-Service staff talks.
Without mentioning China and even the South China Sea, the two leaders also deliberated upon important regional and global issues and affirmed strong commitment to their values-based partnership in achieving a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region where sovereignty and international law are respected, and differences are resolved through dialogue, and where all countries, large or small, enjoy freedom of navigation and overflight.
Asserting that the India-Japan civil nuclear pact reflected a new level of strategic partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe said they looked forward to setting up a working group to boost cooperation in this arena. Modi and Abe reaffirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in multilateral export control regimes such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.
The two Prime Ministers also condemned in the strongest terms North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, including the latest nuclear test conducted by North Korea on 3 September as well as its uranium enrichment activities. R
“Recognising that North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its proliferation links, including the launch of a ballistic missile flying over Japanese territory on 29 August 2017, pose grave and real threat to international peace and stability and the international non-proliferation efforts, the two Prime Ministers strongly urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and not to take any further provocative actions, and to fully comply with its international obligations under relevant UNSC resolutions including the newly and unanimously adopted resolution 2375, and other international commitments,” Joint statement further stated.