- Japanese Foreign Minister Kawaguchi's visit to India -
August 12, 2004
Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, is visiting India for two days, starting today. Minister Kawaguchi arrives with an aim to consult with the new Indian government over various specific measures to further strengthen "the Japan-India Global Partnership". This is the Minister's second visit to India following that of January last year.
Earlier this evening, the Minister met her counterpart, Mr. Natwar Singh, Minister for External Affairs of India, at Hyderabad House for one hour, during which both ministers exchanged their views over a wide range of issues including their bilateral relations, the current developments in South Asia and global issues. With regard to bilateral issues, economic relations, defence and security matters as well as economic cooperation were central to the discussion, while cooperation in the fight against terrorism, UN reform, and disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction were the main focal points of the global issues.
At the outset, Ms. Kawaguchi informed Minister Singh of Japan's Foreign Policy to identify India as a major power in Asia and the world for international peace, stability and prosperity. On this premise, Minister Kawaguchi proposed that the two countries cooperate in elevating the existing relationship to a higher terrain so as to engage in dialogue and cooperation as genuine partners for drawing up a blueprint of the international community of the 21st century. Both the ideas and proposals were met by the full endorsement from Minister Singh.
Regional issues including East Asia, etc. were also discussed during the ensuing working dinner hosted by Minister Singh.
[Japan-India Economic Relations]
In view of the possibility of its early inception, both Ministers agreed to begin preparation for a Joint Study Group (JSG) dedicated to strengthening the Japan-India economic relations. The proposed JSG is a framework of consultation aimed at fundamentally strengthening the economic relations between the two countries through conducting a review of the current bilateral economic situation, which will be followed by studying and identifying various measures that should be undertaken.
[Japan-India Cooperation on UN Reforms]
Minister Kawaguchi said that Japan and India agreed to cooperate closely on UN reform, and that both countries shared the understanding that the expansion of the membership of the Security Council, both in non-permanent and permanent seats, needs to be realized.
Japan and India shared the recognition that both countries are legitimate candidates for the permanent members of the Security Council, and agreed to support each other's candidature for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council. The two countries also agreed to hold a Consultation Meeting on UN Reforms at the DG level in near future.
The Minister received a full introduction of the economic and development policies of the new Indian government, and priority needs with respect to Japan's ODA. Japan looks forward to continuing its cooperation with India in this regard.
[Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism]
Both sides agreed to hold a Japan-India working Group on Counter Terrorism at an early date.
[Disarmament & Non-Proliferation]
Both sides agreed to exchange views and cooperate in the field of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, or the imminent challenge for the international community.
[High level visits]
Foreign Minister Kawaguchi extended to the Minister Singh an official visit to Japan at an early date. The Indian side accepted with pleasure, and both sides agreed to fix dates through diplomatic channels.
The Indian side also extended an official invitation to Prime Minister Koizumi to visit India.
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