QUAD and bullet trains find prominence in PM Narendra Modi`s first call with new Japanese PM Suga Yoshihide

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New Delhi: In his first conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japan’s new PM Suga Yoshihide on Friday batted for Quad grouping of Japan, India, Australia and the United States.

The Japanese government’s read of the talks, that lasted for 25 minutes said, “Prime Minster Suga stated that he would like to promote cooperation in such multilateral mechanism as Japan-Australia-India-US meetings and the United Nations.”

The comments come even as Tokyo is all set to host Quad foreign ministers meet in October. This will be the second such foreign ministers meeting, the first one happened in 2019 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Both the leaders spoke at length on the Indo-Pacific region. The Indian readout of the meet said both the leaders “emphasized that the economic architecture of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region” must be premised on “resilient supply chains, and in this context, welcomed cooperation between India, Japan and other like-minded countries”.

During the talks, the bullet train which Japan is helping built was also discussed. The ties between the two countries have seen significant momentum in the last few years, especially under the leadership for former Japanese PM Abe Shinzo who had developed a personal connection with PM Modi.

PM Modi is the sixth head of the government that new Japanese PM has spoken to. Since taking charge on September 16, Suga Yoshihide has spoken to US President Donald Trump, Australian PM Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the European Council Charles Michel and British PM Boris Johnson. Interesting to note, Japan PM has spoken to all the Quad member countries head of government now.

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