Modi-Abe friendship boosting economic growth: Japan Minister

New Delhi

The commonalities between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are helping economies of the two countries in making “upward trends”, Japan’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Akitaka Saiki said today.

Saiki, who had served as the country’s Ambassador to India, is in India to attend high level tri-lateral talks among India, Japan and Australia on a range of issues including “exchange of views on the regional situation”.

Saiki also had a one-to-one meeting with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. However, he refused to elaborate on the diplomatic level exchanges.

“We discussed a range of issues including China. You can say we are more or less on the same page,” he said.

“The two countries have new political leaders. There are three things that are common between Modi and Abe. They are very dynamic, very strategic and very vibrant. They have become good friends and meet frequently in various forums.

“With the new leaders the economies are also making new upward trends. Japan and India call each other special, strategic and global partners. As special partners sharing strategy and global vision there are many other things the countries should be doing together,” Saiki said during a talk at the Observer Research Foundation here.

Saiki said that groundwork was afoot for Abe’s visit to India scheduled towards the end of this year. “Will be making preparations so that they demonstrate the strength and trust that exist between the two countries.”

On being asked about Japan’s possible participation in the Malabar naval exercise, he said that “Japan was very keen to participate in the maritime exercises. You will soon find out.”

While speaking on changed landscapes on the political and economic front in the last two decades, Saiki expressed concern over China’s posturing under the country’s President Xi Jinping.

“Particularly since the government and the Communist Party are being led by Xi Jinping, China is showing a different kind of a face. Under Hu Jintao, China behaved in a more reserved manner whereas Xi Jinping seems to be more outgoing. Some describe it as aggressive while others put it as self-assertive,” he said.

He termed the country’s dispute with China over Senkaku islands as a matter of “great security concern.”