"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Banquet speech by Prime Minister of India, December 15, 2006

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] December 15, 2006
[Source] Ministry of External Affairs, India
[Full text]

Your Excellency, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Madame Abe,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to thank the Government and people of Japan for the courtesy and warm hospitality with which we have been received in your country.

I have visited Japan many times but this is my first visit as Prime Minister. I have come at an important moment in your history as a new generation takes over the leadership of your country. I sense a spirit of optimism and hope for the future of Japan among the people.

India and Japan share a proud civilisational heritage and a common Asian identity. Our two nations have converging long-term political, economic and strategic interests. We have a common commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law and a free market economy. India and Japan are thus natural partners with a mutual stake in each other's progress and prosperity.

Most importantly, I believe that I am right in saying that there is a broad political consensus in both our countries in favour of a strong and enduring partnership between India and Japan.

We are very grateful to Japan for the development assistance provided to India. However, there is a vast unexplored potential to expand flows of trade, technology and investment. I believe my visit to Japan will open up new pathways of cooperation between our two countries.

I thank you once again and end with a quote from the revered poet Rabindranath Tagore who wrote :

Once we dreamt that we were strangers.

We wake up to find that we were dear to each other

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to invite you to join me in raising a toast to :

- The health and well being of the Prime Minister of Japan and Madame Abe

- The prosperity and progress of our two peoples

- And to our partnership

Thank you.