Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

Nuclear cooperation, defence, trade on agenda for Modi’s trip to Japan

Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: August 27, 2014 1:00 am

Ahead of his Japan visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said he was looking forward to the trip, beginning August 30, to take the “time-tested” bilateral ties to a new level and increase cooperation in various fields.

Modi said he was “excited” to meet his counterpart Shinzo Abe whose leadership he deeply respects.

“On 30th August, I will begin my visit to Japan. I am keenly looking forward to the visit which will boost relations between our two nations,” he tweeted.

He also noted that he will visit Tokyo and Kyoto and interact with all sections of the Japanese society.

“Am particularly excited to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. I deeply respect his leadership and enjoy a warm relationship with him from previous meetings,” said Modi who had earlier travelled to Japan as Gujarat chief minister.

Underlining that Japan’s friendship with India is “time-tested”, he said, “We are two vibrant democracies committed to advancing peace and prosperity in the world.”

He noted that he was to visit Japan in July but could not do so due to Parliament session. Sources said issues related to nuclear cooperation, defence and trade will be high up on the agenda when Modi meets Shinzo Abe. Modi is also expected to call on Japanese Emperor Akihito.

The two governments have been negotiating a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement for the last few years, and they are inching towards a closure, officials said.

The two sides are also working on a defence cooperation agreement, which is also expected to be signed. However, sources said last-minute negotiations are under way.

There is expected to be a major thrust on trade. Economic relations between India and Japan have vast potential for growth, given the obvious complementarities that exist between the two economies. Japan’s interest in India is increasing due to India’s growing market and its resources, especially human resources.

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