Courtesy Call on Indian President Narayanan
August 23, 2000
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On August 23, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori paid a courtesy call on Indian President Kocheril Raman Narayanan for about 30 minutes. The following is a summary of the meeting.
1. Opening Remarks
- President Narayanan welcomed the first visit by a Japanese Prime Minister to India in 10 years.
- Prime Minister Mori noted that President Narayanan had worked at the Indian Embassy in Japan when he was young and said that he feels affection for President Narayanan as a figure with a deep understanding of Japan.
2. Bilateral Relations
- President Narayanan said that Japan and India shared strong emotional ties. He said, referring to the influence of Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese War on India's independence movement, the lessons India learned from the Meiji Restoration, the warm welcome Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru received when he visited Japan, and other episodes, that Japan and India are linked in a wide variety of areas--culture, science and technology, economy, commerce, and politics--and that these ties are important not just bilaterally, but in Asia and on the world stage too.
- Prime Minister Mori cited an opinion poll conducted several months ago in India in which Japan came out as the Indians' favorite country and the one that they would most like to visit, remarking that this impressed on him the warmth Indians feel toward Japan. This is a result of the two countries' shared values stemming from long traditions, culture, and religion, he said, adding that the two governments should respond to the feelings of their people by strengthening ties. He said that deepening Japan-India exchange at various levels, such as sport, culture, science and technology, economy, and politics, was an important policy goal.
- Prime Minister Mori said that Japan would like to cooperate with India to hold commemorative events in Japan and India in 2002 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He also said that he wanted to invite President Narayanan to Japan on that occasion and would like Japan and India to work through diplomatic channels in the future.
3. Information Technology Cooperation
- On IT, one of the main issues of the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, Prime Minister Mori said that his cabinet wanted to develop information technology and that he was delighted that he had had the chance to visit India, including Bangalore, a place that is synonymous with IT. He said Japan and India should help each other in this field while also cooperating to improve things globally.
- President Narayanan said many fields are open for Japan-India cooperation. In the field of IT, he said that India was progressing well in software but should learn from Japan in terms of hardware.
4. Other Topics
- Prime Minister Mori said that Japan had undergone some tough experiences in the twentieth century, including wars and the atomic bombs. He vowed to work together for the development of stable peace and democracy.
- President Narayanan, having acknowledged that Japan has made many sacrifices and is working toward world peace, said that India is striving for arms reduction, and particularly nuclear arms reduction, with a policy based on peace.
- Finally, Prime Minister Mori said that, as a child at the time of Prime Minister Nehru's visit to Japan, he remembered Nehru presenting a baby elephant named Indira to the Japanese people as a gift. Since that time he had felt an affinity to India, he said. He added that until recently Indira had lived a long life. In reply, President Narayanan said that it was decided recently that another elephant would be presented and expressed the hope that the elephant would enjoy a similarly long life.
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