Fumio Koshi, on a visit to New Delhi, calls on the Indian prime minister to take a tougher stand on Moscowâ€™s invasion of Ukraine.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has urged his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, to take a tougher line on Russiaâ€™s invasion of Ukraine, but a joint statement after talks in New Delhi fell short of condemning Moscowâ€™s actions.
Unlike fellow members of the Quad alliance â€“ Japan, Australia and the United States â€“ India has abstained in the United Nations votes deploring Russiaâ€™s actions, calling only for a halt to the violence while still buying Russian oil.
Kishida told a joint news conference on Saturday that he and Modi held an â€œin-depth discussionâ€ and that â€œRussiaâ€™s invasion â€¦ shakes the very foundations of the international order and must be dealt with firmlyâ€.
But Modi made no direct mention of Ukraine and their joint written statement afterwards called only â€œfor an immediate cessation of violence and noted that there was no other choice but the path of dialogue and diplomacy for resolution of the conflictâ€.
Without naming any country, they â€œemphasised the need for all countries to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law without resorting to threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change the status quoâ€.
Earlier this month in a four-way call, the other Quad leaders â€“ Kishida, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison â€“ also failed to win the Indian prime minister over to their position on Ukraine.
A joint Quad statement at the time said they â€œdiscussed the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implicationsâ€ â€“ without any condemnation of Moscow.
A separate Indian readout pointedly underlined that the alliance must remain focused on its â€œcore objective â€¦ in the Indo-Pacific regionâ€ of promoting peace, stability and prosperity.
Modi and Morrison are also due to hold a virtual summit on Monday focused on trade, when the Australian premier may again press his Indian counterpart to fall more into the Western camp over Ukraine.
Russia has been Indiaâ€™s main arms supplier since the Soviet era, but now New Delhi also needs more support from the Quad and others in the region and beyond in the face of an increasingly assertive China.
Tensions between New Delhi and Beijing have been high since a 2020 clash on their disputed Himalayan border killed at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers.
Both have since sent additional military hardware â€“ in Indiaâ€™s case, much of it Russian-made â€“ and thousands of extra troops to the area.
With reference to Chinaâ€™s growing assertiveness â€“ seen as the main concern of the Quad â€“ Kishida and Modi â€œreaffirmed their common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, free from coercionâ€.
The statement after the first visit to India by a Japanese prime minister since 2017 also said Japan would realise [should it be invest?] five trillion yen ($41.9bn) in public and private investment in India in the next five years.
Both leaders also expressed their concern â€œabout the situation in Myanmar and called for an end to violence, the release of all those detained and a return to the path of democracyâ€, the statement said.
They also committed to further cooperation on tackling climate change and condemned North Koreaâ€™s â€œdestabilising ballistic missile launchesâ€.