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Message From Ambassador of India HE Mr Sibi George on the Occasion of the Republic Day of India

On India's 75th Republic Day, the Ambassador reflects on the milestones of the multifaceted India-Japan partnership and how it will continue to prosper in 2024.



Indian President Droupadi Murmu and PM Narendra Modi welcoming Japanese PM Fumio Kishida for gala dinner at Bharat Mandapam, in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on September 09, 2023. (Provided by the Embassy of India)

On the occasion of India's 75th Republic Day, I extend my warm greetings to Their Majesties, the Emperor and the Empress of Japan, and to the Government and the people of Japan. I also take this opportunity to convey special greetings to my fellow Indian nationals and friends of India in Japan who are important stakeholders in the progressive India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

The celebration of this joyous occasion coincides with the 10th year of the elevation of India-Japan relations to a "Special Strategic and Global Partnership" by Honorable Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi and then Hon'ble Prime Minister of Japan Mr Shinzo Abe. In recent years, this partnership has been reinforced under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister of India and Honorable Prime Minister of Japan Mr Fumio Kishida. 

Ambassador Sibi George at the 120th Anniversary of the Inauguration of the Japan-India Association on January 25, 2023. (©Sankei by Kazuya Kamogawa)

G20 and G7 Chairmanship

The last one year has been significant for both India and Japan as chairs of two key international groupings — the G20 and G7. It has been a year filled with multiple high-level engagements. The two Prime Ministers met three times in 2023 — in March 2023 in New Delhi, in May 2023 during the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, and in September 2023 at the G20 Summit in New Delhi. Honorable Former Prime Minister Mr Yoshihide Suga also visited India in July 2023 leading a major Parliamentarians and Business delegation and met Honorable Prime Minister of India. All these engagements were crucial in reaffirming the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between Japan and India and setting a roadmap for us to realize the full potential of our bilateral relations. 

In 2023, India held two Voice of Global South Summits to share the perspectives and priorities of the Global South nations on a common platform. India, through its G20 presidency, also embodied the spirit of universal brotherhood through the mantra of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, reflected in the theme "One Earth, One Family, One Future." India's G20 Presidency strived for just and equitable growth for all in the world by sharing our strengths and experiences to address global challenges such as food, fuel, fertilizer, energy, and climate change. This vision culminated in the inclusion of the African Union into G20, and in the historic G20 New Delhi Leaders' Declaration. 

PM unveilng the bust of Mahatma Gandhi, in Hiroshima, Japan on May 20, 2023. (Provided by the Embassy of India)

Indo-Pacific Vision

In our deep and multifaceted partnership, strategic aspects have gained new importance in today's increasingly complex geopolitical environment which is reflected in our frequent bilateral and plurilateral engagements. The 15th round of Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue was held in New Delhi in July and the first Joint Service Staff Talks was held in Tokyo in September. Bilateral exercises held in 2023 like "Veer Guardian" and "Dharma Guardian" also played a crucial role in strengthening defense cooperation and enhancing interoperability between our armed forces.

India envisions a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific, based on the principle of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), and through the Indo-Pacific Oceans' Initiative (IPOI) initiative of Honorable Prime Minister of India. Japan's vision for the Indo-Pacific was articulated through the speech by Honorable Prime Minister Kishida titled "The Future of the Indo-Pacific — Japan's New Plan for a 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific' — Together with India, as an Indispensable Partner" during his India visit in March 2023. As members of QUAD, Japan and India are committed to the rule of law and working towards the peace, stability, and prosperity of an inclusive Indo-Pacific region, and no change in the status quo.

Indian Ambassador to Japan Sibi George holds a press conference aboard the Indian Navy's Kadmatt, an anti-submarine warfare corvette, anchored at Yokosuka Port, Japan, on December 3, 2023. (©Sankei by Tomoo Iwata)

Economic Partnerships and Climate Change

Japan is a natural partner in India's economic transformation. The shared commitment to realize a ¥5 trillion JPY investment in the next 5 years underpins our commitment towards mutual economic growth and development, and for the region. There is immense potential for both India and Japan to collaborate on economic security and growth through established platforms like the India-Japan Comprehensive Economic and Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Supply Chain Resilience Initiative, Industrial Competitiveness Partnership, India-Japan Digital Partnership, Clean Energy Partnership, and Semiconductor Supply Chain Partnership. Japan has been an indispensable partner in India's infrastructure development with many iconic infrastructure projects including the flagship Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway Project, and the Mumbai Trans-Harbor Link Project. The complementarities between skilled human resources of India and the demands of the Japanese economy are being leveraged for mutual growth.

India's commitment to climate change is unwavering. India has set for itself the ambitious target of taking its non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030. The push for renewables domestically has been matched by India's call for a global solar grid through the International Solar Alliance (ISA) of which Japan is a member. With an annual per capita carbon footprint much below the global average, India is further focusing on mindful use of resources by individuals through the Lifestyle For Environment (LiFE) initiative. Such sustainable ways of living have been a common part of both Indian and Japanese traditions. India follows the policy of being the first responder in HADR globally, and Japan is a key member of the India-led Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) which has grown in importance in the face of increasing climate challenges. India's focus on global food security is reflected in the promotion of traditional Indian millets which are dense in nutrients, climate-resilient, and resource-efficient. 

Cultural Exchange and Future Collaborations

India and Japan celebrated 2023 as the "India-Japan Year of Tourism Exchange" to increase people-to-people contact and strengthen the cultural connection between our two countries. We will be building on the success of this initiative by celebrating 2024 as "India-Japan Year of Tourism 2.0" with the theme of "Connecting Himalayas with Mount Fuji," as well as "India-Japan Year of Science & Innovation."

As the fastest growing large economy, India has entered its "Amrit Kaal" or golden age, a 25-year period till 2047, the 100th year of Indian independence, with a vision of faster growth and prosperity. Japan has been a valued partner of India in this journey, and I am confident that the India-Japan partnership will continue to strengthen and prosper in a safe, secure, and sustainable world. I would like to conclude by thanking the vibrant Indian diaspora in Japan which is playing an important role in further strengthening our long-standing dynamic partnership with Japan. 



(Read the message in Japanese.)

Author: HE Sibi George, Ambassador of India to Japan

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