Sunday 26 January 2014

Prime Minister's Media Statement during the visit of Prime Minister of Japan to India

Following is the text of Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s Media Statement during the visit of Prime Minister of Japan to India
Following is the text of Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s Media Statement during the visit of Prime Minister of Japan to India, in New Delhi today: 

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Abe to India. We are delighted that he was able to accept our invitation to be Chief Guest at our Republic Day celebrations this year. 

Together with the visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to India last month, his visit exemplifies the momentum in our Strategic and Global Partnership. 

Japan is at the heart of India’s Look East Policy. It is also a key partner in our economic development and in our quest for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia and the world. Anchored in our shared values and interests, the partnership between a strong and economically resurgent Japan and a transforming and rapidly growing India can be an effective force of good for the region. 

Prime Minister Abe and I have just concluded a comprehensive Annual Summit meeting. We noted with satisfaction the growing frequency of our political engagement and our expanding defence and security cooperation. Our bilateral maritime exercises have now been established on an annual basis and we have welcomed Japan’s participation in the Malabar exercise this year. 

Our negotiations towards an Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy have gained momentum in the last few months. Our Joint Working Group on US-2 amphibian aircraft has met to explore the modalities of cooperation on its use and co-production in India. 

More broadly, we are working towards increasing our cooperation in the area of advanced technologies. I reviewed with Prime Minister Abe the current status of these transformative projects and shared my expectations with him. 

Japan is a privileged partner in India’s most ambitious projects for world class infrastructure, which our government has launched in recent years - the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, IIT Hyderabad and the planned Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor. We took stock of these flagship projects. I apprised Prime Minister Abe of the steps we have taken to facilitate Japan’s association with India’s growth story in general and these projects in particular. In these projects and in many others, Japan’s Overseas Development Assistance has played a transformative role, for which I expressed our gratitude. 

The presence of Japanese companies in India increased 16% last year. However, I believe there is enormous untapped potential in our business ties. I therefore sought increased Japanese investments in India. We explored ideas for concrete cooperation in manufacturing and R&D in the electronics sector as well as in energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies. 

Tourism flow and civil aviation links between our two countries have increased considerably. In our talks, Prime Minister Abe and I decided to encourage people-to-people movement by fast-tracking implementation of the Social Security Agreement that we signed over a year ago. I also requested his support for conclusion of pending legal instruments for our law enforcement cooperation, like transfer of sentenced persons and mutual legal assistance on criminal matters. 

We discussed possibilities of joint development and connectivity projects in our neighbourhood, as also coordination and cooperation in the ASEAN and East Asia Summit-related processes, where we are joint stakeholders. We have directed our Foreign Ministries to have structured discussions on these matters. I requested Japan’s continuing support to the Nalanda University project. We also discussed our shared interests and challenges in the area of energy security. 

We had an exchange of views on regional and global developments and expressed hope for peace, stability and continuing progress and prosperity in our region. We agreed to continue our efforts for reform of the United Nations Security Council within the G-4 framework and to work for global growth and prosperity through the Group of 20. 

Prime Minister Abe’s visit to India as Chief Guest for our Republic Day has reinforced our strategic partnership and added substance to our relations. That he has chosen to do so on the eve of an important parliamentary session in Japan only goes to show his deep commitment to this relationship. I am truly grateful to him for this.” 

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