Hindu Vivek Kendra
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In a first, Japan foreign minister joins R-Day celebrations in Tokyo

Author: Sachin Parashar, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: January 27, 2018
URL:   https://m.timesofindia.com/india/in-a-first-japan-foreign-minister-joins-r-day-celebrations-in-tokyo/amp_articleshow/62668731.cms?__twitter_impression=true

In a special and "unprecedented" gesture, Japan's foreign minister Taro Kono attended Indian embassy's Republic Day celebrations in Tokyo. Japan is, for India, the most important country in facilitating its Act East Policy.

In fact, Japan was the only country invited last month for the first ever India-Asean connectivity summit here in the run up to the just concluded Commemorative Summit.

Japan and India also last month inaugurated an Act East Forum for cooperation in India's northeast where India's Act East converges with Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy.

Speaking on India's R-Day, Kono emphasised that Japan and India were strategic partners that shared values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Kono described India as one of the most important partners for promoting Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. He added that 2017 had witnessed many positive developments in the bilateral relationship

According to India's ambassador to Japan, Sujan Chinoy, Kono warmly recalled the close relationship between the two countries as personally experienced by him when he visited India last year at the invitation of the government of India. In September 2017, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had visited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat for the Annual Summit Meeting. He pointed out that there were about 1400 Japanese companies with over 4800 Japanese establishments in India, with the number rising every year. He referred to 2017 as a great year for bilateral relations, particularly as the Japan India Year of Friendly Exchanges in which about 200 cultural events were held in India and Japan.
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