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People of India have fondness for people of Japan: PM

Last updated on: May 27, 2013 20:59 IST

People of India have fondness for people of Japan: PM

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Vipin Vijayan in Tokyo

Manmohan Singh's visit will have a special focus on giving boost to cooperation in defence, economic and energy, reports rediff.com's Vipin Vijayan who is travelling with the prime minister.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Tokyo on Monday on a three-day visit to Japan to invigorate bilateral strategic ties and push for a civil nuclear energy cooperation deal.

After arriving at the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Dr Singh told mediapersons, "India and Japan have a strategic and global partnership. There are enormous potentialities for further enriching our relationship, deepening it and brightening it in the fields of economy, politics and security. In all areas, there is enormous potential for widening and strengthening our relationship with Japan."

"The people of India have fondness for the people of Japan. I look forward to further cementing our ties with Japan," he said.

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh steps out of Air India One on his arrival at Tokyo's Haneda International Airport
Photographs: Shivraj/Photo Division

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The broad outlines of Dr Singh's programme in Tokyo include an address at a business meeting hosted by Kaidanren, the premier chamber of commerce and industry of Japan, on May 28. Later in the day, he will address a gathering, which is jointly organised by the Japan-India Association, Japan-India Parliamentary Friendship League, and the Friendship Exchange Council. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife will host a private dinner for the PM on Tuesday evening.

The following day, the PM will call on senior ministers in the Shinzo Abe cabinet as well as leaders of the main political parties.

Dr Singh and his wife Gurusharan Kaur will call on the Emperor and Empress of Japan, who will host a luncheon for them. Following this, the annual summit between the two prime ministers will take place on Wednesday evening

The two prime ministers will take stock of the India-Japan strategic and global Partnership, and will also discuss how to further strengthen it.

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Image: PM being received at the airport by Minoru Kiuchi, Japan's parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs
Photographs: Shivraj/Photo Division

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This is the first occasion for the two prime ministers to meet after the December 2012 general elections in which Japan saw Abe and his party win office. The two premiers will discuss all issues in the bilateral relationship including political exchanges, high-level visits, the economic interaction, our defence cooperation and people-to-people ties. 

Economic relationship is one of the drivers of the overall bilateral relations. Dr Singh and Abe will discuss all major projects such as the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, the western dedicated freight xorridor, and the infrastructure upgradation process in the Chennai-Bangalore corridor. The Government of Japan is keen to showcase its high-speed rail technology or Shinkansen, which they would like India to consider.

At his address to Japanese businessmen, Dr Singh will highlight major investment opportunities in India and seek greater Japanese private sector investments.

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Image: PM with his wife Gursharan Kaur in Tokyo
Photographs: Shivraj/Photo Division

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Energy cooperation is another area of promise in the bilateral relationship. Japan will organise a major exhibition of energy efficient and green technologies in Delhi later this year. Japan has recently made a breakthrough in the frozen seabed gas hydrates and their exploitation, which is of great interest to India. The two countries are already cooperating on a joint study on LNG pricing. 

The two leaders will also discuss regional and international issues. 

Official sources in the Indian side dismissed reports of India going slow on ties with Japan so as not to annoy China.

"There are sensitivities in the Japanese side particularly after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and we respect that," official sources said.

"When Japan is keen to see that whatever it does is in the direction of strengthening non-proliferation regime, India's own view is that civilian nuclear energy cooperation with Japan will only further strengthen non-proliferation regime. India is quite happy to proceed at the pace determined by the Japanese side," the sources said while reacting to reports that there are issues in Japan on a bilateral nuclear deal with India.

Dr Singh will also travel to Thailand on a two-day visit from May 30.

With inputs from PTI

 

 



Image: PM arrives in Japan for three-day visit
Photographs: Shivraj/Photo Division
Tags: Japan , India , LNG , PTI , Dr Singh

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