India is going through a massive transformative phase and worldwide agencies say the country will drive the growth of the global economy in the coming decade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday as he invited the Indian community in Japan to contribute actively in building a "new India".
PM Modi, who is in Japan for the 13th India-Japan annual summit, met his counterpart Shinzo Abe and held informal talks with him.
After the luncheon, they would visit a factory of industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc Corp, before moving on to the Japanese premier's vacation home nearby.
It is a return visit, of sorts.
This is PM Modi's third visit to Japan as Prime Minister.
Although a proposed "quad" regional defense initiative between democracies Australia, India, Japan and the United State seems stuck in stasis, Japan and India sit on the eastern and western flanks of an expansive China, and are upping defense cooperation. Japan is India's most trusted partner in its economic and technological modernisation, he said.
The two-day summit beginning Sunday will seek to review the progress in ties and deepen strategic dimension of the bilateral relationship.
The highlight of the meeting - the fifth between Abe and Modi - will be maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region with an eye on China's growing influence. Abe said that he will work closely and firmly with PM Modi for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
The Summit will also focus on cooperation between New Delhi and Tokyo on India's development initiatives.
A key agenda item on Monday, according to Japan's ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu, will be an "Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement" between the two countries - essentially, a logistics agreement that will help underwrite the increasing number of exchanges between their armed forces. These island bases lie northwest of the strategic Malacca Strait - a critical transit link between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.
Japan's role in India's economic journey continues to be integral to its transformation, Kumar added.
And bilateral defense cooperation is starting to extend beyond the maritime space.
PM Modi said that he and PM Abe agreed that from digital partnership to cyberspace, health to defence and from oceans to space, both sides will strengthen their partnership. That is a vacuum Abe appears willing to fill.
Prime Minister in his statement said projects such as Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail and Dedicated Freight Corridors reflected the high level and "strength of our economic engagement".