Visit to India by Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba (Overview)
Sixth Japan-India Foreign Ministers’
The First India-Japan Ministerial-Level
Courtesy Call on His Excellency
Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India
From Sunday, April 29 to Monday, April 30, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited India and held the Sixth Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue as well as the First Japan-India Ministerial-Level Economic Dialogue. Minister Gemba also paid a courtesy call on His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. The overview of the meetings is as follows.
1. Sixth Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue
On Monday, April 30, Minister Gemba held the Sixth Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue with H.E. Mr. S.M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs of India. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
(Note: The Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue has been held in Japan and India alternately every year since 2007. Last year, the dialogue was held in Tokyo in October.)
(1) The Foreign Ministers shared the view that they would elevate Japan-India relations to a higher level through the Sixth Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue and the First Ministerial-Level Economic Dialogue held on that day. They expressed hope for an early realization of the next Subcabinet 2+2 dialogue, and noted fruitful discussions in the Second Japan-India-U.S. trilateral dialogue held in April. The two Ministers shared the view that they would further develop the Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership through various dialogues, including the annual summit meetings.
(2) Minister Gemba noted that cooperation between Japan and India in the field of maritime security had been steadily deepened, referring to joint exercises between the Japan Coast Guard and the Indian Coast Guard, bilateral cooperation on anti-piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, as well as a joint naval exercise between Maritime Self-Defense Force and Indian Navy scheduled to be held this year. The two Ministers decided to establish a working-level dialogue on maritime issues covering a wide range of maritime issues with a focus on maritime security, in order to further develop cooperation between Japan and India in this area.
(3) Minister Gemba stated that the East Asia Summit (EAS) should be developed into a leader-led forum to promote concrete cooperation including on regional common ideas and maritime issues. The two Ministers shared the view that they would also continue cooperation on an expanded maritime forum including EAS members.
(4) The two Ministers recognized that the issue of so-called cyber attacks raised serious concerns that could have an impact on national security. They shared the view that they would cooperate on this issue including through discussions on an international code of conduct and launching bilateral talks on cyber.
(5) Minister Gemba stressed the importance of developing an international code of conduct in the outer space to secure its safe use. The two Ministers shared the view that they would closely cooperate in this field.
(6) With regard to the negotiations between Japan and India on an Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, the two Ministers reaffirmed their intention to move forward with the negotiations with a view to concluding the agreement in a mutually satisfactory manner. Minister Gemba asked for India's understanding on Japan's strong sentiment on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
(7) Regarding the joint industrial activities on rare earth materials, the two Ministers shared the view that they should work toward an early realization of the activities.
(8) Concerning North Korea, Minister Gemba stated that the launch of a missile purported to be a “satellite” by North Korea was a serious violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and welcomed the Presidential Statement by the Security Council, which strongly condemns the launch. The two Ministers shared the view that the two countries would strongly urge North Korea not to conduct any further provocative actions.
(9) The two Ministers exchanged views on such regional issues as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan, as well as on the reform of the U.N. Security Council.
2. The First India-Japan Ministerial-Level Economic Dialogue
On Monday, April 30, Minister Gemba co-chaired the First India-Japan Ministerial-level Economic Dialogue, which was attended by Mr. Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Mr. Shozaburo Jimi, State Minister in charge of Financial and Postal Issues; Mr. Kimiaki Matsuzaki, State Secretary for Internal Affairs and Communications; Mr. Fumihiko Igarashi, Senior Vice Minister of Finance; Mr. Ken Okuda, Senior Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and Mr. Satoshi Takayama, Parliamentary Secretary of the Environment. The overview of the meeting is as follows. (On the Indian side, the Dialogue was co-chaired by Mr. S. M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs, and attended by Mr. E. Ahamed, Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resources Development; Mr. K.H. Muniyappa, Minister of State for Railways; Mr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Planning, Science and Technology and Earth Science; Mr. J.M. Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry; Mr. D.K. Mittal, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance; Mr. Ranajan Mathai, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs; and Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation(DMICDC), among others).
(1) During the dialogue, Ministers discussed the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), the Comprehensive Integrated Master Plan of the Chennai-Bengaluru region, the western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), India's high speed railway system, rare earth materials, follow-ups on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Japan and India, business environment in information and communications technology (ICT) and the financial sector, as well as cooperation in the areas of energy and environment.
(2) With regard to the DMIC, Minister Edano noted that an agreement had been signed in March on the seawater desalination project in the state of Gujarat, which had previously been endorsed by the two Prime Ministers. He also offered support for India's National Manufacturing Policy along with infrastructure development. The Indian side stated that the inter-departmental consultation mechanism continued its rigorous review on relaxation of financial regulation to promote investment by Japanese companies for effective use of the DMIC financial facilities, to which Japan decided to contribute 4.5 billion dollars during Prime Minister Noda's visit to India last December, with a view to delivering positive outcomes at the earliest.
(3) Concerning India's Comprehensive Integrated Master Plan for the development of the Chennai-Bengaluru region, Minister Gemba, Minister Edano and Senior Vice-Minister Okuda asked for improvement of infrastructure such as roads, ports, electric power supply, and industrial water facilities, noting the significant increase of Japanese companies operating in the region. Both sides shared the view that they would cooperate to deliver concrete results on this issue. They also decided to make progress on Japanese cooperation for the Master Plan through the work of relevant authorities, by the upcoming visit to Japan by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this year.
(4) Regarding the DFC, the Indian side explained the current progress of the project and expressed hope for completing the project by March 2017. On high-speed railway, the Japanese side explained the outcomes of the visit to India by Mr. Takeshi Maeda, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, as well as the seminar on the high-speed railway held during his visit, as a follow-up on the visit to India by Prime Minister Noda. On the Indian side, Minister Krishna and others expressed keen interest in technologies of Japanese shinkansen.
(5) Concerning rare earths materials, both sides decided to work towards the conclusion of the negotiation at the earliest to commence joint industrial activities through necessary procedures.
(6) With regard to follow-ups on the CEPA, Minister Gemba stated that the two countries would closely cooperate to expand bilateral trade, the scale of which had so far been limited, through the Sub-Committee on Improvement of Business Environment to be held under the CEPA. Minister Edano stated that the CEPA was an important step toward the economic integration of East Asia.
(7) On improvement of business environment, the Japanese side raised issues in the fields of ICT and financial sector. On ICT, it asked for appropriate actions on the part of the Government of India regarding the proposed policies to promote domestic production of electronic equipment, as well as on regulations on network security for services providers, among others. On the financial sector, the Japanese side reiterated its request for the opening of branch offices by Japanese banks in metropolitan areas, as well as relaxation of regulations in the insurance sector.
(8) On cooperation in the energy and environmental areas, Minister Gemba and Parliamentary Secretary Takayama stated that the two countries would continue to cooperate on climate change, building on the outcome of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and expressed Japan's intention to cooperate with India on biodiversity, as India hosts the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October this year (Japan was the chair of COP10). In the field of energy, Minister Edano explained the outcome of the 5th Energy Dialogue, which he had held that day with Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. Both sides also shared the view that they would further discuss cooperation on a bilateral offset credit mechanism.
3. Courtesy Call on His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
On Monday, April 30, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mr. Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Mr. Shozaburo Jimi, State Minister in charge of Financial and Postal Issues; Mr. Kimiaki Matsuzaki, State Secretary for Internal Affairs and Communications; Mr. Fumihiko Igarashi, Senior Vice Minister of Finance; Mr. Ken Okuda, Senior Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and Mr. Satoshi Takayama, Parliamentary Secretary of the Environment, paid a courtesy call on His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
(1) Prime Minister Singh expressed his appreciation to the visit by a strong delegation led by Minister Gemba, recalling that the establishment of the Ministerial-Level Economic Dialogue had been agreed upon by the two Prime Ministers in 2010. He stated that economic relations were the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship, and that dynamic economic relations would advance the bilateral relationship as a whole.
(2) Minister Gemba noted that the Sixth Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue and the First India-Japan Ministerial-level Economic Dialogue had been held during the visit, and stated that the two Foreign Ministers decided to establish a dialogue on maritime issue and to launch bilateral talks on cyber during their Dialogue. He further hoped that, as the Japan-India relationship possesses great potential, various bilateral dialogues, especially the annual summit meetings, would lead to fully opening up the lid of that potential.
(3) Other Ministers, Vice-Ministers and Parliamentary Secretary made remarks on economic, financial and other issues.
(4) The Japanese participants shared the view with Prime Minister Singh that the Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership have huge potential, and the two countries should further deepen cooperation on bilateral as well as regional and global issues, and both governments would need to make efforts to deliver concrete outcomes by Prime Minister Singh's visit to Japan this year.
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