New Delhi, Dec. 12 (ANI): Hailing Japan’s role in India’s growth and modernisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said “no partner has played such a decisive role in India’s economic transformation as Japan and no friend will matter more in realising India’s economic dreams than Japan”.
Addressing a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Hyderabad House here, he said, “I cannot think of a strategic partnership that can exercise a more profound influence on shaping the course of Asia and our interlinked ocean regions more than ours. That is why we deeply value our ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’. It enjoys unmatched public goodwill and political consensus in India. It also comes with great public expectations and huge responsibilities for us.”
Stating that in the course of the past year, both the nations have done much to live up to what is expected of them, the Prime Minister said, “We have made enormous progress in economic cooperation as also in our regional partnership and security cooperation.”
“Prime Minister Abe has been prompt and positive on our economic proposals, many of which are now unique to India. Japanese private investments are also rising sharply,” he added.
Terming the memorandum signed on the civil nuclear energy cooperation between the two nations as more than just an agreement for commerce and clean energy, he said: “Today, we have scaled new summits in our shared journey. It is a shining symbol of a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of a peaceful and secure world.”
“I know the significance of this decision for Japan. And, I assure you that India deeply respects that decision and will honour our shared commitments,” he added.
Noting that the decision to introduce High Speed Rail on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through Japan’s Shinkansen was no less historic, Prime Minister Modi appreciated Prime Minister Abe’s extraordinary package of approximately 12 billion U.S. dollars and technical assistance, on very easy terms, for the project. “This enterprise will launch a revolution in Indian railways and speed up India’s journey into the future. It will become an engine of economic transformation in India.”
He also appreciated a sharp increase in the Japanese bilateral assistance programme and the strength of public and private Japanese commitment for the ‘Make in India’ mission,
Noting that in September 2014, in Tokyo, Prime Minister Abe spoke of 35 billion U.S. dollars of Japanese finance and investments for India over five years, the Prime Minister said it was ambitious, but we are quickly turning it into reality together.
Highlighting the shared commitment of India and Japan to combat climate change is equally strong, he said: “We are engaged in a wide-ranging collaboration in clean energy and energy efficiency technologies that will also create solutions for the benefit of others in the world.”
Talking about security cooperation, the Prime Minister said, “Today, we have also taken two more decisive steps. The two agreements will deepen our defence relations and promote defence manufacturing in India. This builds on our decision to expand staff talks to all three wings of the Armed Forces and make Japan a partner in Malabar Naval Exercises. We have also advanced our regional partnership in the course of the year. We have raised the level of our tri-lateral dialogue with the United States and launched a new one with Australia.”
I also appreciate Prime Minister Abe’s support for India’s membership of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), he said, adding that both we will also strive for our rightful place in a reformed UN Security Council.
“Our remarkable relationship also has a wonderful human touch. The Kyoto-Varanasi partnership is one of its strong symbols. Last year, Prime Minister Abe hosted me in Kyoto. Later today, I will show him the ancient heritage of Varanasi and our plans for its modern future,” he said.
In recognition of our special relationship, Prime Minister Modi said, “India will extend ‘visa on arrival’ to Japanese citizens, including for business purpose from March 1, which will be different from the electronic visa facility that is being extended globally.” (ANI)