India and Japan to help Sri Lanka recover from their economic crisis. Following a recent meeting in Tokyo between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Fumio Kishida, India and Japan have decided to collaborate on supporting Sri Lanka, according to the Japanese government.
On the margins of the Quad Summit on May 24, Mr. Modi and Mr. Kishida met for bilateral talks on “tight cooperation” to encourage efforts to realize a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” as well as collaboration in areas such as defense, clean energy, and investment.
The leaders “addressed the situation in Sri Lanka and confirmed that they will work with each other in light of the current economic crisis and deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the nation,” according to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to a statement, they also “shared the idea of working together to evolve the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework into an inclusive framework that will provide tangible advantages to the region.”
Sri Lanka was not mentioned by the Ministry of External Affairs. “The two presidents discussed current global and regional events in depth. They reiterated their commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific area, noting convergences in their different approaches to the Indo-Pacific,” according to a statement released on May 24.
Japan’s announcement that it will work with India to help Sri Lanka is significant because it comes just days after Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed that Quad members — the US, India, Japan, and Australia — take the lead in forming a foreign aid consortium to help the country, which is experiencing its worst economic crisis since independence. Since January of this year, India has provided around $3.5 billion in assistance in the form of loan deferments and credit lines for vital imports.