Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. On his arrival at Kansai International Airport in Japan, Modi was received by the Japan Prime Minister and the two greeted each other as "best friends do". The prime minister was also inundated with warm welcome from the excited and proud young members of the dynamic Indian community when he reached Swissotel Nankai hotel, Osaka, this morning.
Post that, the world leaders hold bilateral talks in Osaka during which they discussed several aspects of India-Japan relations. At the meeting, Abe offered hearty congratulations to Modi for his thumping victory in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections in India. Referring to PM Modi's initiative in earlier G20 meetings on the issue of fugitive economic offenders, Abe said G20 should deal with this problem as part of its anti-corruption measures. The Japanese PM also vowed to visit India anytime soon.
On his part, Modi thanked Abe for his best wishes, saying "you were the first friend of India who congratulated me, on phone". "I also express my gratitude for the warm welcome you and Japan Government have accorded to us," the prime minister added. This was the first such meeting between these leaders since the start of Japan's Reiwa era.
"Expanding the strategic template of our relationship PM Narendra Modi met Japanese PM Shinzo Abe ahead of the G20 Summit. Discussed broad range of topics of mutual interest. PM said that he was looking forward to visit of PM Abe to India later this year for the Annual Summit," MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar wrote on the ministry's official Twitter handle.
PM Modi arrived in Japan for the two-day G20 Summit during which he is scheduled to attend important plurilateral meetings and meet with the world leaders including US President Donald Trump. This will be Prime Minister Modi's sixth G20 Summit which is being held at Osaka on June 28-29. Apart from Trump, Modi will also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders during the G20 Summit.
In his departure statement, Modi said that issues such as women empowerment, artificial intelligence and common efforts to address challenges like terrorism will be high on his agenda. "The summit will provide an important opportunity to reiterate and reinforce our strong support to reformed multilateralism, which is crucial for preserving rule-based international order in today's fast-changing world," the prime minister said.
The summit, he said, will also be a platform for sharing India's strong developmental experience of the last five years, which provided the basis for a resounding mandate by the people of India to the government to continue on the path of progress and stability.
The two-day Osaka summit will also be an important stepping stone for India towards hosting the G20 summit in 2022 "when we usher in a New India in the 75th anniversary year of our Independence," the prime minister added.