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At the ninth India-Japan Strategic Dialogue co-chaired by Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister, Government of India and Taro Kono, Foreign Minister, Japan the two leaders called for a special strategic and global partnership.

Kono reiterated that India is Japan’s most important partner in its Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and that it should be merged with India’s Act East Policy for further benefits.

Stating that India had emerged as one of the fastest growing economies, Swaraj said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country has risen in the rankings of ease of doing business.

“We welcome Japan’s role in our flagship programmes like Smart Cities, Digital India and Start-up India,” Swaraj said.

The two leaders discussed cooperation in the areas of information and communication, space research, health services and food security.

Following the talks, the two sides signed loan agreements on projects being implemented in India with Japanese aid, including on connectivity in Northeast, Mumbai Metro Line 3, construction of Chennai Sea Water Desalination Plant and Himachal Pradesh forest ecosystem management.

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