Japanese Foreign Minister Kono Taro spoke to newly appointed External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar by phone and highlighted India's role and responsibility as a global power in the realisation of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
During the telephone call, Kono congratulated Jaishankar on his appointment as the External Affairs Minister and invited him to the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in November.
Kono expressed his view that toward the realisation of a free and open Indo-Pacific, the role and responsibility of India as a global power is extremely huge, an official statement said.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to a long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy for keeping the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
China has been trying to expand its military presence in the Indo-Pacific, which is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the sea. China is also engaged in a dispute with Japan over the East China Sea.
Senior officials of the four countries met in Bangkok, Thailand last week where they reaffirmed the commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region based on shared values anzd principles.
Kono told Jaishankar that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo would visit India this year, and he would be in touch and cooperate with him more closely than ever.
He went on to state that he would like to coordinate the schedule to hold a "2+2" Ministerial Meeting as soon as possible which Japan and India agreed to hold.
On his part, Jaishankar said that he hopes to further expand the scope of cooperation with Japan with which India enjoys special relationship, and looks forward to meeting Foreign Minister Kono again soon.