Fifth Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue (Overview)
On Saturday, October 29, H.E. Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held the 5th Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue with H.E. Mr. S. M. Krishna, External Affairs Minister of India during the latter'’s visit to Japan at the Iikura Guest House. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
(Note: The Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue has been held in Japan and India alternately each year since 2007. Last year, the dialogue was held in Delhi in August.)
1. Bilateral relations
(1) With regard to political and security issues, Minister Gemba first expressed his gratitude for the support and encouragement Japan had received from India in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. He stated that Japan and India shared core values and strategic interests with a mutually complementary economic relationship, and he therefore regarded India'’s stable development as important for Japan'’s interests. Minister Gemba recognized the importance of regular bilateral visits by Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers, adding that it is the turn of the Prime Minister of Japan to visit India this year. The Ministers agreed to promptly hold Ministerial Level Economic Dialogue, Japan-U.S.-India trilateral meeting (director-general level) and Two-Plus-Two Dialogue (senior official level). They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in anti-piracy and other maritime security areas. With reference to the upcoming visit by Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony, Minister Krishna proposed to conduct bilateral exercise between Maritime Self-Defense Force and Indian Navy.
(2) In the economic area, the two Ministers expected that the entry into force in August of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) would contribute to a significant growth in trade, investment and other economic activities between the two countries. They also agreed to promote cooperation on infrastructure development in India, particularly the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), high-speed rail system and environmental technologies including renewable energies. In addition, the Ministers agreed to make efforts toward an early conclusion of a social security agreement.
(3) With regard to negotiations on a Japan-India Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, as Minister Krishna reiterated India'’s intention to proceed with the negotiations, the two Ministers agreed to move forward with the negotiation. Minister Gemba stated Japan would provide information with transparency regarding the status of the ongoing survey on the causes of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, as well as its efforts to enhance nuclear safety. The Minister also asked for India'’s understanding on Japan'’s strong sentiment on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation as the only country to have ever suffered a wartime nuclear devastation.
(4) Regarding the joint development of rare earths, the Ministers agreed to provide government support to move forward with joint ventures between Japanese companies and Indian Rare Earths.
(5) Noting that next year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India, the Ministers concurred that this would be a good opportunity to reaffirm the importance of Japan-India relations in both countries, thereby raising their bilateral relations to a higher level. Minister Gemba expressed Japan'’s intention to continue cooperation for the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Information Technology Design & Manufacturing Jabalpur through public, private and academic partnership.
2. Regional and global issues
(1) Minister Gemba stated that he would like to develop the East Asia Summit (EAS) into a forum of leaders'’ initiatives to develop shared visions in the region as well as to promote concrete cooperation on maritime and other issues through strengthening political and security efforts. The two Ministers agreed that Japan and India would work together toward the EAS in November.
(2) Concerning climate change, the Ministers welcomed progress in the area of bilateral cooperation, and agreed to strengthen such bilateral cooperation, aside from their different positions in international negotiations.
(3) The Ministers exchanged views on regional and global issues including on China, North Korea and Myanmar, as well as United Nations Security Council reform.
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