Japan PM press Modi for Indian 'action' on Ukraine
Forcing the choice on India, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida presses his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to take a tougher stance on Russia.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, on Saturday, with the visitor urging Modi to take a tougher stance and "take action" in response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
Unlike the other members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD), Japan, Australia, and the United States, India has abstained in three UN votes from condemning Moscow's actions, urging only a cessation of violence.
Before meeting Modi, Kishida's office quoted him as saying, "Russia's aggression against Ukraine is an outrage that undermines the very foundation of the international community's order, including Asia."
"Such unilateral changes to the status quo are also absolutely unacceptable in the Indo-Pacific region. During this overseas trip (to India and Cambodia) I will engage in exchanges of views with my counterparts about the situation in Ukraine and other matters and urge them to take action," Kishida's office tweeted.
Forcing the Choice on India
Kishida, US President Joe Biden, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison failed to persuade Modi to support their position in a four-way call earlier this month.
They "discussed the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications," according to a joint statement, without condemning Moscow.
Separately, an Indian readout emphasized that "the Quad must remain focused on its core objective of promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region."
A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said ahead of Kishida's visit, the first by a Japanese premier since 2017, that Tokyo was "aware" of Delhi's "geographical location and historical ties to Russia."
"But at the same time we share fundamental values and strategic interests so naturally there will be candid discussions about how we view the Ukraine situation," the official told reporters.
"That will be more the opportunity to take stock of the bilateral cooperation as well as reaffirming our shared strategic vision and interests rather than emphasizing what our differences are," the official added.
Modi and Morrison are also scheduled to hold a virtual summit on March 21 focused on trade, during which the Australian Prime Minister may press his Indian counterpart to align more with the West on Ukraine.