In an interview, the Japanese ambassador spoke of cooperation with India in spheres ranging from security to trade and investment

Japan sees India as the “most natural strategic partner” to promote a free and inclusive Indo-Pacific, and this year’s Malabar naval exercise was an example of efforts by the four members of the Quad to ensure the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, Japanese ambassador Satoshi Suzuki has said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Suzuki spoke of cooperation with India in spheres ranging from security to trade and investment. He also said there is no scope in a rules-based free and open Indo-Pacific for attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by coercion.

With the world focused on Covid-19 vaccine delivery and economic recovery, what role can Japan and India jointly play in these efforts as important members of the G20? What is your view on the proposal by India and several other countries for IPR waiver for wider access to vaccines? Is Japan looking to closer cooperation with India on delivery and distribution of vaccines, including in third countries?

Year 2020 turned out to be an unprecedented one with our days so much affected by Covid-19. Protecting lives and recovering the economy have become a top priority for governments across the world. That is why Japan is supporting the efforts of the government of India through 50 billion yen (about Rs7,500 crore) budget support and 1 billion yen (about Rs150 crore) grant assistance, as well as through international organisations such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR and IFRC.