Visit to India by Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs
August 22, 2010
Foreign Minister Okada paid
a courtesy call on Dr. Singh, PM of India
4th Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue with Foreign Minister Krishna
Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited India on August 21 (Sat) and August 22 (Sun) to hold the 4th Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue with Mr. S. M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs of India. Minister Okada also met with Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, and Ministers. An overview of the visit is provided below.
1. Fourth Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue with Minister Krishna
Minister Okada and Minister Krishna held the 4th Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue on August 21 (Sat) and exchanged a broad range of views on Japan-India bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues. The major items discussed are as follows.
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 Tokyo in July.
(1) Bilateral relations
- With regard to Japan-India economic relations, Minister Krishna expressed appreciation for Japan's continuous support through Official Development Assistance (ODA). The Ministers concurred that they would steadily implement the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project. Minister Okada made a proposal to initiate a minister-level economic dialogue, to which Minister Krishna responded positively. The Ministers confirmed their goal of concluding negotiations on the Japan-India Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by the time of Prime Minister Singh's visit to Japan, which is due to take place this year, while exchanging views on outstanding issues.
- As for civil nuclear energy, Minister Krishna expressed appreciation for Japan's decision to start negotiations on a Japan-India Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. Minister Okada noted that it was one of the most difficult decisions he had made as Minister for Foreign Affairs. He made it clear that Japan would stop nuclear cooperation if India conducts nuclear tests. In this context, he requested that India make further concrete steps toward nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Minister Okada also stressed the importance of India's efforts toward an early signing and ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. Minister Krishna reiterated India's "commitments and actions," including its commitment to a moratorium on nuclear testing. He noted that while there was no timeline for the negotiations, India intended to work with Japan to reach a good agreement.
(2) Regional and international issues
- The Ministers welcomed the participation of the United States and Russia in the East Asia Summit (EAS), and exchanged views on regional architecture. Minister Okada stressed his view that the United Nations Security Council reform should be considered in the context of global governance. The Ministers agreed to strengthen consultations among the G4 members and hold a G4 Foreign Ministerial Meeting on the occasion of the General Assembly of the United Nations in September. They also concurred that Japan and India would strengthen dialogue on Africa.
- The Ministers further exchanged views on situations in the region, including those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North Korea.
2. Meetings with senior government officials of India and other events
- (1) Minister Okada paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Singh on August 21 (Sat). They agreed that both Japan and India would make efforts to conclude negotiations on the Japan-India Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by the time of Prime Minister Singh's visit to Japan this year. In the context of cooperation in the uses of civil nuclear energy, Minister Okada requested India's further efforts on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in view of Japan's decision to start negotiations on a Japan-India Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. Prime Minister Singh explained India's positions, including the continuation of a moratorium on nuclear testing. They also agreed that Japan and India would cooperate in an effort to reform the United Nations Security Council.
- (2) Minister Okada also met with Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, and exchanged views mainly on climate change, including ways to bring about a low-carbon society.
- (3) During a meeting with Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, on August 22 (Sun), the Ministers reaffirmed that they would continue to coordinate closely toward the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) in Nagoya in October, and exchanged views on climate change, in particular, regarding the international negotiations toward COP16 as well as on Japan-India cooperation to realize a low-carbon society.
- (4) Minister Okada also met with Japanese nationals in India on the evening of August 21 (Sat), and on August 22 (Sun) he took a ride on the Delhi Metro, which was developed through Japan's ODA.
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