Monday, December 4, 2023

India, Japan sign agreements on nuclear energy, bullet train

ArrayNew Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) India on Saturday signed landmark agreements on civil nuclear energy and bullet train technology with Japan, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi described visit of his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe “truly historic”.

In his statement after summit meeting with Abe at Hyderabad House here, Modi announced “visa on arrival” to all Japanese citizens from March 1, 2016.

The statement followed signing of agreements on cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, high speed rail and transfer of defence equipment and technology cooperation.

Modi said India and Japan took two more decisive steps in security cooperation and these would deepen defence relations and promote defence manufacturing in India.

The Indian prime minister said Japan’s decisive role in India’s economic transformation will matter the most in realising its economic dreams.

“Today, we have scaled new summits in our shared journey,” he said.

Without making a direct reference to concerns among some countries about China’s expansive claims in South China Sea, he said India stands strongly for ensuring freedom of navigation and over-flight, and unimpeded maritime commerce.

“We believe that disputes must be resolved peacefully and that all countries must abide by international law and norms on maritime issues,” he said.

Modi said the agreement signed on nuclear energy cooperation was more than just an agreement for commerce and clean energy.

“It is shining symbol of a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of a peaceful and secure world,” Modi said.

Modi said he knew the significance of the civil nuclear agreement for Japan and assured that India will honour its shared commitments.

Japan is the only country in the world to have suffered a nuclear attack.

Terming as “historic’ the decision to introduce high speed trains on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through the Japan’s Shinkansen, Modi said India greatly appreciates Abe’s extraordinary package of over $12 billion 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 said.

Modi said India values its special strategic and global partnership with Japan and it enjoys unmatched goodwill and political consensus in India.

“We also appreciate the sharp increase in Japanese bilateral assistance and the strength of public and private Japanese commitment for the Make in India mission,” he said.

Referring to his visit to Japan last year, Modi said the Japense prime minister had spoken of $35 billion Japanese finance and investments for India over five years and “we are quickly turning it into reality”.

Modi said as India and Japan will “shape an Asian century in our vision and values” as they realise Vision 2025 of their ties.

He said the two countries were engaged in wide ranging collaboration in clean energy.

Modi said the agreement on security cooperation builds on the decision of two countries 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 trilateral dialogue and launched a new one,” he said.

Modi said India and Japan will work together in East Asia Summit to promote an inclusive, balanced and open regional architecture and maritime security in the region.

“We will also strive for our rightful place in a reformed UN Security Council.”

Modi earlier began his speech by describing Abe as “a personal friend and a great champion of India-Japan partnership”.

“In recognition of our special relationship, India will extend ‘visa on arrival’ to all Japanese citizens from 1st March 2016. This is different from the electronic visa facility that is being extended globally,” Modi said.

“In a world of intense international engagements, few visits are truly historic or change the course of a relationship. Your visit, Mr. Prime Minister, is one,” Modi added.

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