Telephone Conversation between Japanese Foreign Minister Koumura and Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee

May 22, 2008

     For about 15 minutes from 5:00 p.m. on May 22, Mr. Masahiko Koumura, Minister for Foreign Affairs, had a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.  


1.   Mr. Koumura expressed his deepest sympathy for the victims of the series of bombings that took place in Jaipur, India, on May 13.  He also reiterated Japan’s determination to fight terrorism with India.  Mr. Mukherjee expressed his appreciation for Japan’s condolences and stated that India would continue to fight terrorism in cooperation with Japan.

Moreover Mr. Koumura stressed that strengthening relations with India is one of the most important agenda for Japan’s diplomacy and that Prime Minister Fukuda was looking forward to receiving Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Japan soon.  He also said that Japan would like to continue to cooperate with India in economic affairs including through active EPA negotiations and that Japan will dispatch Mr. Nishimura, an adviser to the Cabinet Secretariat on environmental issues, to India for consultation on climate change.  Mr. Mukherjee said in return that India places importance on its relations with Japan, and that India intends to make steady progress along the roadmap that was drawn when Prime Minister Abe visited the country in 2007.


2.   Referring to his visit to Pakistan from May 2 to 4, Mr. Koumura said that it was important for Pakistan to make concerted efforts to eradicate terrorism and tackle economic issues.  Mr. Mukherjee said that when he visited Pakistan from May 20 to 21, he had a useful exchange of views with the new government of Pakistan and discussed the importance of cooperation in the fight against terrorism.


3.   They also exchanged views on the present situation of the assistance of Japan and India to Myanmar, which sustained great damage from a cyclone.