'India and Japan are natural and indispensable partners': Manmohan Singh

Tokyo, May 29 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said India and Japan are natural and indispensable partners for advancing prosperity in each country, and for a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous future for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

"Prime Minister Abe and I had wide ranging discussions over the past two days, characterized by a convergence that is fully consistent with our global and strategic partnership. Our discussions were guided by the fundamental belief that at a time of global uncertainties, change and challenges, India and Japan are natural and indispensable partners for advancing prosperity in our two countries and for a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous future for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions," said Dr. Singh in his statement to the media after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"The joint statement reflects our mutual understanding and the steps we are taking to advance our relationship. We attach particular importance to intensifying political dialogue and strategic consultations and progressively strengthening defence relations, including through naval exercises and collaboration in defence technology. Cooperation in high technology, space, energy security and rare earth minerals will also add rich content to our strategic partnership," he added.

"While continuing our development partnership, especially in the infrastructure sector in India, we will also strive to substantially expand the flow of trade and private investment," Dr. Singh said.

"We had a meeting of minds in our discussions on global and regional issues. We will seek reforms in the United Nations Security Council, an open, rule-based and balanced regional architecture and deeper regional economic integration and connectivity," he added.

The visiting Indian Prime Minister also conveyed his good wishes and support for Japan's bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

"I am satisfied that not only is our strategic partnership on a strong foundation, but that we are truly moving forward in pursuit of the vision for which we have reached out to each other with so much resolve and intensity in the past decade," said Dr. Singh.

Dr. Singh said that he is delighted to return to Tokyo, a city where he has always found warmth, goodwill and hospitality.

"My wife and I were deeply honoured by the special gesture of Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress in hosting us earlier today. I also want to thank Prime Minister Abe for the excellent arrangements that have been made for our discussions and for his exceptional hospitality," he said. (ANI)

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