Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (October 7) spoke to the newly elected prime minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, and said he looked forward to working with him to further strengthen India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
Japan’s parliament had elected Kishida as prime minister earlier this week. In a tweet Modi said, “Spoke with H.E. Fumio Kishida to congratulate him for assuming charge as the Prime Minister of Japan. I look forward to working with him to further strengthen India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership and to enhance cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Meanwhile, the new Japan PM said on Friday that he would do his utmost to lead Japan out of the COVID-19 crisis while protecting its territory and people in an increasingly tough security environment.
Kishida took the top job in the world’s third-largest economy on Monday, replacing Yoshihide Suga, who had seen his support undermined by surging COVID-19 infections. Daily cases have recently fallen and a long state of emergency was lifted this month.
“I’m determined to devote body-and-soul to overcome this national crisis with the people, carve out a new era and pass on to the next generation a country whose citizens are rich at heart,” Kishida said in his first policy speech to parliament.
A big early test for him will be leading his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) into a general election on October 31.
Kishida had telephone conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, media reported.
The calls marked the first time Kishida talked with either leader since taking over as prime minister, Kyodo News said.
On ties with China, PM Kishida said in his speech that building stable relations and maintaining dialogue were very important but Japan would not mince words when necessary.