Developments in Afghanistan, the situation in the South China Sea and ways to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region figured prominently during a telephonic conversation between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Japanese counterpart Hayashi Yoshimasa on Monday.
A readout released by the Japanese foreign ministry said the two ministers discussed regional situations and shared their "strong opposition" to any unilateral attempt to change the "status quo by force" in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
It said Hayashi and Jaishankar resolved to work together for an early realisation of a visit to India by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and confirmed that both sides would coordinate to hold the next round of Japan-India "2+2" ministerial dialogue.
"The two ministers discussed regional situations and shared their strong opposition to any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force in the East China Sea and the South China Sea and any economic coercion," the Japanese foreign ministry said about the talks that lasted for nearly 20 minutes.
It said both sides would deepen cooperation on economic security through establishing resilient supply chains.
The ministry said Hayashi and Jaishankar decided to promote further cooperation in dealing with regional situations such as Myanmar and Afghanistan.
They also vowed to cooperate in tackling COVID-19 and countering the challenge of terrorism.
"The two ministers exchanged views on bilateral relations and confirmed that resuming both leaders' annual mutual visits is of particular importance, affirming to work together for the early realisation of Prime Minister Kishida's visit to India at an appropriate time," the Japanese foreign ministry said.
"Both ministers also confirmed that the two countries would coordinate to hold the next round of Japan-India 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial meeting," it added.
The two ministers also touched upon issues in the areas of cyberspace and economic security, besides discussing ways to deal with climate change.
"They also decided to continue the efforts to steadily advance the construction of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail, which is the Japan-India flagship project," the Japanese foreign ministry said.
"The two ministers affirmed to work closely toward the realisation of a shared view of free and open Indo-Pacific through bilateral cooperation and quadrilateral cooperation involving Australia and the US," it said.
It further said: "The two ministers also discussed the situation in North Korea, including its nuclear and ballistic missile activities, and Minister Hayashi asked for understanding and support on the abduction issue.
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