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India, Japan seek to engage China over border rows

By Shishir Bhate
October 26, 2010 01:14 IST
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Referring to their ties with China, India and Japan on Monday agreed that it was essential to engage China in a closer, more open and productive dialogue as both Tokyo and New Delhi are desirous of peace in the region.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan discussed the issue of boundary disputes with China -- while India faces border issues over land, Japan is engaged in a maritime territorial row -- in Tokyo.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Ra, while briefing the media about what the two prime ministers discussed, said that the two dwelt upon how important their relations were with China from the strategic, security and economic points of view.

The Japanese prime minister was interested in knowing from Singh the development of India's relations with China in terms of trade and economy which has grown even while issues remain.

Talking about the disputes with China, Rao said Singh mentioned the 'very well functioning system' to discuss these differences with China in an 'engaging way'.

Both India and Japan also expressed their common desire to further consolidate, enhance and expand the Strategic and Global Partnership between them through the second decade of the 21st century.

Recognising the importance of rare earths and rare metals for future industries, the two prime ministers decided to explore the possibility of bilateral cooperation in development, re-cycling and re-use of rare earths and rare metals and in research and development of their industrial substitutes.

India and Japan decided to steadily expand security and defence cooperation between them, said Rao.

The two aimed to cooperate to enhance their capacity in responding to security challenges such as maritime security which entails safety and freedom of navigation and counter-piracy, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and response through bilateral and multilateral exercises, information sharing, training and dialogue.

In this context, the two leaders welcomed the launch of India-Japan Shipping Policy Forum and mutual exchange of schedules of escort operations by the Indian Navy and Japan Self-Defense Forces in the Gulf of Aden.

Prime ministers Singh and Kan instructed relevant authorities to realise the full potential of the Action Plan to advance Security Cooperation signed in 2009, based on the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between India and Japan.

The two countries also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purpose.

Prime Minister Kan condemned terrorist attacks in and against India, such as the bomb blast in Pune on February 13, 2010 and in Kabul on February 26, 2010, in which Indians as well as other nationals were targeted.

The two leaders decided to enhance greater cooperation in combating terrorism through information-sharing and counter-terrorism training as well as utilising the India-Japan Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism.

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