Summary of the Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting

July 28, 2000
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting (July, 2000) Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono and Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaswant Singh held talks in Bangkok for approximately 30 minutes from 15:45 on July 28, 2000.

1. Summary of Meeting

A. Bilateral Relations

(1) Foreign Minister Kono spoke as follows:

  1. "Ministerial-level exchange between Japan and India has been active recently. For example, Foreign Minister Kono met with External Affairs Minister Singh soon after his appointment in October 1999, and during the seven or eight months since then Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes visited Japan and then Minister of International Trade and Industry Takashi Fukaya visited India. Recently Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori himself took the initiative in deciding to visit India. Regarding the information technology revolution, which was an important topic also at the G8 summit, Prime Minister Mori wanted to see with his own eyes the advanced state of technology being developed in India."
  2. "Although Japan and India have had differences of opinion over the last one or two years, on the occasion of the Prime Minister Mori's visit to India, it is hoped that the two sides will hold discussions as frank and genuine partners setting their sights on the twenty-first century."

(2) In response, External Affairs Minister Singh spoke as follows: "Geographically, historically, and culturally there have been no conflicts separating India and Japan so far. The India-Japan relationship is the one that must move in the direction of cooperation. Certainly, it is the fact that there have been differences of opinion between the two countries in the past few years, but the India-Japan relationship is not one that will be influenced by just a single problem. "The India-Japan relationship is broader and firmer; it must absorb the differences. Prime Minister Mori's visit to India will be a very important and good opportunity to place the India-Japan relationship on strong and stable foundations."

(3) Also, External Affairs Minister Singh invited Foreign Minister Kono to visit India, and Foreign Minister Kono expressed his gratitude for the invitation.

B. The CTBT Issue

(1) Foreign Minister Kono again explained the thoughts of the Japanese people on nuclear weapons and requested India without fail to clarify its thinking on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to Prime Minister Mori during the Prime Minister's visit to India. Foreign Minister Kono said that with the international situation surrounding India and the existence of ruling and opposition parties in parliament, he realized that it would be difficult to build a consensus. Nevertheless, he said, he hoped that the Indian government would resolutely discuss the CTBT issue in a forward-looking manner during the prime minister's visit.

(2) In response, External Affairs Minister Singh said that he wanted to talk about this problem with Foreign Minister Kono again over a long time and stated that this issue would undoubtedly be discussed on the occasion of Prime Minister Mori's visit to India.

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