Amidst China's growing assertiveness in the strategically important region, India and Japan on Tuesday shared their views to steadily advance the quadrilateral cooperation with Australia and the United States in the Indo-Pacific region. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with his Japanese counterpart Suga Yoshihide, which lasted for 40 minutes, wherein the two leaders discussed regional as well as global issues. 

"The two leaders exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest and concurred that the partnership between the two countries could play a pivotal role in addressing common challenges. In this regard, they emphasized that their engagement with like-minded countries such as Australia and the US in the form of Quad consultations holds value and agreed that these useful discussions must continue," the Prime Minister Office said in a statement. 

As per the Japanese foreign ministry statement, Prime Minister Suga expressed serious concerns regarding unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and the South China Sea, China's Coast Guard Law and the situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison are expected to join the Quad summit and discuss the fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and efforts to tackle climate change this month. 

Last month, Quad foreign ministers held a virtual meeting, wherein they agreed to work toward a "free and open Indo-Pacific" region while strongly opposing any attempts by Beijing to alter the status quo in the East and South China seas by force.   

The Japanese prime minister also asked for understanding and cooperation toward the early resolution of the abductions issue by North Korea. 

The two leaders expressed grave concerns over the situation in Myanmar and they would closely work together in this vein.

During their conversation, the two prime ministers expressed satisfaction at the positive momentum in India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership in the last few years, guided by mutual trust and shared values. 

"They appreciated that bilateral exchanges were maintained over the last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic. They also welcomed the recent signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation on Specified Skilled Workers and looked forward to its early implementation," it said.

PM Modi noted the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project as a shining example of India-Japan bilateral strategic partnership and expressed his commitment to its successful implementation.

The two leaders noted that the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries would fall in 2022 and agreed that this event is celebrated in a befitting manner.

Further, Prime Minister Modi invited him to visit India at the earliest for the annual bilateral summit.