Abe meets Modi in bid to balance powers: analysts

By Hu Hao and Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/29 22:53:39

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold signed documents during a joint news conference at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: VCG

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Japan on Sunday for a two-day summit, with Chinese experts saying that Japan is aiming to find a balance between great powers in the Asia-Pacific region facing an unstable US.

The two countries released a joint statement on Monday after the summit covering a range of issues including security and economics to boost Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, Tokyo-based Jiji Press reported on Monday.

Modi was welcomed by Abe on Sunday evening with a private dinner at Abe's villa in Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture.

It was the first time that Abe welcomed a foreign leader in his private villa, according to a separate Jiji Press report on Monday.

Lu Hao, a research fellow at the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that India has become an important target of Japan to draw to its side, while India also wants to expand its strategic space with the help of Japan.

The relations between great powers in the Asia-Pacific region are becoming increasingly complicated, Lu noted.

Japanese media said that Abe is trying to push forward its "balanced diplomacy between great powers" by leading a closer relationship with Modi.

Modi also said in an interview with Japanese media NHK that India and Japan are irreplaceable partners.

Qian Feng, a research fellow at the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday that Japan's traditional ally, the US, has made huge policy changes after Donald Trump assumed office and Japan is looking for closer relationships with India and China to gain more leverage.

Abe paid an official visit to Beijing last week, the first official visit by a Japanese prime minister in seven years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday welcomed Abe, saying that "China and Japan, as close neighbors with great converging interests, are major world economies and influential countries," expressing his appreciation for the prime minister's willingness to improve bilateral ties in recent years, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Abe said the Belt and Road initiative is a promising concept. Japan is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in a wide range of fields, said the report.


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