New Delhi [India], January 1 (ANI): Ambassador of Japan to India, Satoshi Suzuki on Friday vowed to strengthen Japan-India bilateral relations and advance the strategic partnership between the two countries to the next stage.
"Happy New Year, everyone. I wish to reconfirm my unwavering commitment to strengthening the Japan-India bilateral relations and advancing the strategic partnership between our two countries onto the next stage," said Satoshi.
The Ambassador laid stress on 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific' and 'Provision of Supplies and Services between the Self-Defense Forces of Japan and the Indian Armed Forces'.
"We reconfirmed our cooperation for realising the shared vision of a 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific' through Prime Ministers' telephone talk and Foreign Ministers' talk, including face-to-face dialogue. In September, the agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India concerning reciprocal 'Provision of Supplies and Services' between the Self-Defense Forces of Japan and the Indian Armed Forces was signed. Moreover, in October, Japan-Australia-India-US Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Tokyo. Discussion in person between the Foreign Ministers from the four countries indicated throughout the world of the strong ties between Japan and India and among the four countries," said Satoshi.
Talking about the coronavirus pandemic and its after-effects, he said, "Last year, the world experienced grave effects due to unprecedented crisis of COVID-19 pandemic. While it became inevitable to refrain from numerous activities, such as the movement of people and economic activities, a nationwide lockdown was imposed in India at the end of March. Since then, with the relaxation of various regulations, the movement of people increased, and as a result, the situation continuously marked an extremely high-risk infection. 2019 was a year where we faced a huge challenge: how to carry out diplomatic activities amidst the constraints on face-to-face contacts and interactions."
Citing the financial assistance provided to India from Japan, he said, "Two governments exchanged notes concerning the provision of 50 billion Japanese yen loan to India for a response towards COVID-19 emergency and the provision of one billion Japanese yen Grant Aid towards a project in India to supply medical equipment. Contract of the longest civil work package (C-4) of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) Corridor was signed as well. These are proof of the firm partnership between Japan and India that continuously cooperate in spite of the unprecedented crisis."
"While hoping for the situation to end as soon as possible, I would like to extend my best wishes for 2021 to be an even more wonderful year for the two countries and a fruitful year for everyone," he added. (ANI)