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We have rediscovered India: Japan PM
August 22, 2007 19:25 IST
Observing that relations between New Delhi and Tokyo has weakened over the last decade, Japan's [Images] Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [Images] on Wednesday said that his country has "rediscovered" India.
"The India-Japan relations have been conspicuous by the silence in the past 10 years," he said at a reception hosted in his honour in New Delhi.
Abe, who is on a three-day visit to India, said that "it may be reasonable to say that the relations have weakened in the last 10 years and are not (of the intensity) that they should have been."
The relationship between the two countries have the "greatest potential" compared to any other such bilateral ties, said the Japanese Prime Minister. Japan is keen to enhance bilateral ties with India in several fields including economics, defence and security.
"A strong Japan is in the interest of India and a strong India is in the interest of Japan," said Abe.
Noting that his country had "rediscovered" India, Abe said "our relationship will be conducive to regional cooperation and regional peace."
A number of dignitaries including Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury and several prominent industrialists attended the function.
Interestingly, Abe was made to paint the Indo-Japan friendship on a canvas. As he painted a circle in red colour, signifying Japan's national flag, Raje applied saffron colour to it.