(TibetanReview.net, Jan27, 2014) China’s rise as a global power and its determination to assert it to make others yield to its land and sea territorial claims appears to have brought India and Japan more close to each other than ever before, with the former’s Prime Minister being the chief guest at the latter’s Republic Day celebrations on Jan 26. The timesofindia.indiatimes.com Jan 26 cited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying Japan was at the heart of India’s Look East policy as he met with his visiting Japanese counterpart Mr Shinzo Abe on Jan 25.
It added that the two leaders agreed to further deepen the strategic and global partnership between the two countries as two democracies in Asia sharing universal values such as freedom, democracy and rule of law. Abe is the first Japanese PM to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations as chief guest.
A joint statement issued after the meeting emphasized the need for the two countries to contribute jointly to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world taking into account changes in the strategic environment. Also, Indianexpress.com Jan 25 said the two sides had agreed to start a National Security Advisor-level dialogue in an effort to re-energise the strategic component of the relationship that had hardly progressed despite strong economic relations.
Singh welcomed Japan’s participation in the Malabar Indo-US naval exercise and the meeting to discuss co-production of US-2 amphibian aircraft. He has also said the discussion between the two sides for a civil nuclear agreement had gained momentum. Abe has stressed the importance for India to bring into force the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) for an early conclusion of the agreement. Singh has responded by reiterating India’s commitment to its unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing.
The two sides were reported to have signed eight agreements, including Japan’s soft loans and official development assistance at a substantial level to encourage India’s efforts towards social and economic development.