Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, reaffirmed their position to work together to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific” during their bilateral talks in Osaka on Thursday.

The meeting was held ahead of the two-day summit of the Group of 20 leading economies starting Friday in Osaka. Abe expressed his willingness to hold a so-called two-plus-two dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of Japan and India as early as possible for that purpose.

He told the Indian prime minister that Japan wants to work out the specifics to strengthen the security cooperation between the two countries.

India has supported the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” pushed by the United States and made its stance clear of seeking stability in the Indo-Pacific region together with Japan and other countries. Japan and India are increasing cooperation, apparently to stave off China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

Abe also sought to improve connectivity for regional development by promoting “quality infrastructure.”

Modi called for joint efforts in the areas of not only security but also the digital economy, development assistance to third countries and disaster risk reduction. Speech