Kishida, Modi oppose changing status quo by force

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands while exchanging documents during the signing of an agreement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Saturday.

NEW DEHLI (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, agreed Saturday that any attempt to change the status quo by force is unacceptable in any region.

The two leaders reached the agreement when they discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during a meeting in New Delhi.

In a joint statement issued after their meeting, the Japanese and Indian leaders expressed serious concerns about the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

They stressed the importance of ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine and called for an immediate halt to the fighting there.

At a joint news conference with Modi after the meeting, Kishida said Japan will work together with India to help achieve an immediate halt to the fighting in Ukraine and make a breakthrough through dialogue.

During their meeting, Kishida told Modi that it is necessary to respond decisively to the Russian aggression.

At the press conference, Kishida said that “the world is facing a situation that threatens to shaken the foundation of the international order.”

He said, “In such a situation, it is increasingly important for Japan and India to work together closely to ensure an open and free Indo-Pacific region.”

Modi made no mention of Russia at the news conference. India has friendly ties with Russia and abstained from a U.N. General Assembly resolution against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Indian prime minister said his country will work to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region under the Quad framework, which also includes Japan, the United States and Australia.

The two leaders agreed to promote efforts toward achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific region and oppose any attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

They agreed that Japan and India will hold the second meeting of their foreign and defense ministers at an early date following the first in November 2019.

The Japanese prime minister unveiled plans to invest ¥5 trillion in India over the next five years.

Kishida and Modi met in person for the first time since they took office. Japanese and Indian leaders visit each other’s countries once a year, but the exchange had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic since Modi traveled to Japan in October 2018.