Japanese Defence Minister calls on PM Modi

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New Delhi : As the Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Monday, Modi told the visiting dignitary that he looks forward to visiting Japan later this year, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

Onodera was on a two-day bilateral visit to India on August 19-20 at the invitation of Defence Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman.

Recalling his long association with Japan since before assuming office as Prime Minister, Modi welcomed the broadening and deepening of the special strategic and global partnership between India and Japan in the recent years.

Modi warmly recalled the successful visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India last year, and said that "he is looking forward to visiting Japan later this year".

The Prime Minister said that defence cooperation is a key pillar of the relationship between the two countries.

"The Prime Minister welcomed the strengthening of various defence dialogue mechanisms between India and Japan, and the enhanced linkages between the armed forces of the two countries. He also appreciated the progress in defence technology cooperation between the two countries," said a PMO statement.