"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] Joint Press Conference by Prime Ministers of India and Japan 22 August 2007

[Date] August 22, 2007
[Source] Ministry of External Affairs, India
[Full text]

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India: I am delighted to be here today with His Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his high-powered delegation. Prime Minister Abe's visit to India soon after my own visit to Japan in December 2006 reflects the vitality and intensity of Indo-Japan relations in recent years.

We have had very fruitful and intensive discussions. As two major countries in Asia, we share common values and have a common responsibility to ensure the peace and prosperity of our region. We deeply appreciate the words of friendship that Prime Minister Abe expressed during his Address to our Parliament earlier today. We have today agreed to lay down a roadmap to impart a new dimension to our strategic and global partnership. This is a comprehensive and forward looking vision of how our two countries can and ought to move far ahead in the coming years.

Economic partnership is at the core of our engagement. We have set a target for bilateral trade of US $ 20 billion by 2010. The Working Group is to be set up to explore collaboration in setting up a new IIT. We have also agreed to cooperate in the implementation of two very important flagship projects - the Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor project, and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project. When implemented, these projects will be shining examples of our enhanced bilateral cooperation. We had very productive discussions on global and regional issues, and this reflects our growing mutual understanding and convergence of interests.

The signing of a Joint Statement on enhancement of cooperation in environment protection and energy reflects an important new area of cooperation. We appreciate Prime Minister Abe's initiative on climate change as a contribution to the global debate on the subject. Equally for us, it is important to ensure energy security so that we can sustain strong growth rates and eradicate poverty. We welcome Japanese participation in our energy sector.

Mr. Prime Minister, I would like to thank you warmly for the assistance which Japan has been providing to India's developmental efforts. Your strong personal commitment to the strengthening of our partnership is a source of inspiration to us. Let me extend to you once again a very warm welcome and request you to say a few words.

I thank you.

H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan: Allow me to say a few words as well.

I wish to start with my gratitude to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Government, and Parliament of India, and the Indian people for their very warm welcome and hospitality.

I had the pleasure today of speaking to the Parliament of India. My visit here this time is also being dovetailed by the visit to your country of a 200-strong business mission which is participated by captains of Japan's business community under the leadership of Mr. Mr. Miterai, Chairman of Nippon Keidanren.

In addition, yesterday the first ever Presidents and Vice-Chancellors level dialogue of leading Universities of Japan and India took place with the participation of distinguished representatives of the Universities of our two countries. I trust that this visit of ours shall lead to further strengthening of exchanges not just between our Governments but also between the business communities and the academia of our countries at many different levels.

A while ago, I had a very intimate and positive meeting with Prime Minister Singh on a very broad range of subject matters and under the common understanding, thanks to our agreement last December to build a strategic and global partnership, the relations between our two countries now have advanced to a new level. We were able to agree on numerous common endeavours which would aim at drawing the roadmap for Japan-India relations at a new dimension.

With regard to our bilateral relations, we agreed the following. First with regard to political and security areas, I extended my invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Japan once again next year, and he kindly accepted this invitation. We also saw eye-to-eye that our bilateral cooperation in the area of security has progressed in recent years. We also agreed to get down to considerations with regard to the future course of the cooperation between our two countries that would be appropriate for our two countries in order to further expand cooperation in this area.

In the economic area and economic cooperation with the participation of top leaders of the business communities of our two countries, the first Business Leaders' Forum was held this very day; and we, as you saw, received their recommendations just a while ago. All these recommendations are very insightful, and I have instructed those people concerned to act on these recommendations to translate them into reality.

Japan has actively supported India's infrastructure development over the years. India has been the largest recipient of Japanese Yen loans for four years consecutively. In our meeting today, I stated that we shall consider positively the provision of Yen loans utilizing Japanese technology vis-a-vis the Dedicated Freight Corridor initiative. Also, I stated that since the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project also would be very beneficial for both Japan and India, we would like to be cooperating closely with the Indian side towards the launching of a fund which would be conducive to making this project a reality. In addition, we have also confirmed that the Agreement on Currency Swap was reached between the authorities of our two countries.

In order to cement our bilateral relations into the future, it is important to encourage contacts, exchanges of people, and exchanges in academia and cultural exchanges between our two countries, especially exchanges of youth who will carry our countries into the future. With this common understanding between myself and Prime Minister Singh, we agreed on numerous endeavours into the future including the plan for us to invite to Japan five hundred youths every year.

In the area of environment and energy, I once again explained the basic elements of my initiative, which is Cool Earth 50. Especially, I explained the long-term objective of halving greenhouse gas emissions globally by 2050 and the three principles that I have been proposing, and pointed out that it will be necessary for India to participate in a responsible manner in an effective post-2013 framework. Prime Minister Singh responded positively by stating that he will consider seriously the long-term targets, and also consider positively participation in a post-2013 framework. I agreed with Prime Minister Singh to further strengthen cooperation between our two countries in this area as well.

Furthermore, we confirmed that we shall cooperate for the denuclearization of North Korea and the early resolution of the abduction issue; and also agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

Through my meeting with Prime Minister Singh, the speech I delivered to the Parliament, and also through exchange of views with representatives of the business communities and Universities of our two countries, I was able to renew my understanding, my sense that Japan and India are two major democracies in Asia that share common basic values such as freedom, democracy and human rights, and that Japan-India relations are bilateral relations with the greatest potential of all bilateral relations.

In the run up to Prime Minister Singh's Japan visit next year, I shall see to it that the results of my visit this time shall be implemented steadily; and together with the Prime Minister I shall strive to further advance the bilateral relations between Japan and India.

Question (Kyoto News Service): I would like to put this question to both Prime Ministers. This relates to nuclear cooperation. First of all, in the area of nuclear cooperation Prime Minister Singh, what would you expect from the Government of Japan?

This is my question to Prime Minister Abe. To support India-US civilian nuclear cooperation, some suggest, contradicts with the Japan's non-nuclear policy since Japan is a country that advocates nuclear abolition. How would you respond to this matter?

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India: India and the United States have reached agreement on cooperation relating to civil nuclear issues. There are several stages still to be undergone, if this agreement is to be operationalised. We have to go to the International Atomic Energy Agency to get an agreed India-Specific Safeguards Agreement. Then, we have to go to the Nuclear Suppliers Group to relax their present restrictive attitude to trade with India in nuclear materials and equipment, and technologies. My sincere hope is that when this matter comes before the Nuclear Suppliers Group we will have the support of the Japanese Government.

H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan: Let me respond to that question. Japan certainly is aware of the strategic importance of India. We also understand the necessity for India, a country with a population of one billion, to try and respond to the increasing energy demand of the country whilst addressing the global warming issue by utilizing nuclear energy. Having said that, Japan as the only country that had suffered atomic bombing, attaches particular importance to nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Therefore, we are of the view that we have to watch very closely the implications this matter may have on international nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation regime.

With regard to the question of nuclear cooperation with India, at the international stage India will be negotiating the safeguards measures agreement with IAEA, and then there will be discussions at the Nuclear Suppliers Group. I told Prime Minister Singh that it is indispensable, it is essential for India to address appropriately negotiations with IAEA in order to respond to the concerns of Japan and the international community. As far as Japan is concerned, we shall also intend to positively engage in international discussions in a thorough manner.

Question (Sarita Brara, All India Radio): This question is addressed to Dr. Manmohan Singh. You have talked about the two projects - industrial corridor between Delhi and Mumbai, and the Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata freight corridor - as the shining examples of enhanced bilateral cooperation. But what has been the tangible progress in your discussions on the two projects?

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India: A lot of work has been done but a lot more needs to be done to operationalise these projects. There are project reports to be prepared. Some of these reports will have to be examined by the Japanese aid-giving agencies. That process is underway. We have assurance at the level of the Japanese Government of their support for both these projects. But I think project details have to be prepared, examined, and evaluated. That will itself take quite some time.

Question (Japanese Press): I would like to ask a question related to global warming. This is addressed to both Prime Ministers. Prime Minister Abe, you mentioned earlier that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke highly of your proposal Cool Earth 50. But I also gather that there was some difference of positions or views with regard to the target year of 2050. I wonder, Prime Minister Abe, if the result has been as you had expected. Also, towards effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the future, how do you intend to seek out concrete measures with India?

My question for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is, what is your view with regard to this target of 2050?

H.E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan: If I may lead off, I explained about my proposal of Cool Earth 50 and the long-term target of reducing by half the greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 and also the three principles. Prime Minister Singh spoke highly of this proposal in response to my explanation. Prime Minister Singh also expressed his determination to participate in an effective framework for the period beyond 2013 with me, a framework in which all countries will be participating.

I would say that this indeed represents a certain measure of progress towards the resolution of this climate change issue. Indeed for Japan and India to cooperate on matters of common challenge for the international community, does represent a shining example of this global partnership between our two countries. We would like to engage in cooperation with India at bilateral as well as multilateral levels in the days ahead, and would also like to work on cooperation involving Japan's energy conservation technology as well.

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India: Global warming is a global problem. The whole world shares a single common environment. So, all countries of the world have an obligation to contribute in accordance with their capacity to the solution of the global problem of global warming. Prime Minister Abe has made a very important contribution to the ongoing debate how to tackle this problem and I certainly applaud his initiative in this regard. As far as India is concerned, we are committed to work with other likeminded countries to find appropriate solutions to this problem consistent with the universally accepted principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. As I mentioned to Prime Minister Abe, the world has to find a balance between the twin imperatives of environment protection, control of global warming and promoting accelerated economic and social development of the poor countries like India. Therefore, I welcome this debate on these twin issues. In this context we greatly appreciate our working together with Japan and other like-minded countries.

Question (Maya Mirchandani, NDTV): In the wake of what you have said regarding seeking Japan's support at the NSG, how soon do you propose to push this along given your domestic constraints, and also the Left's demand that you hold all negotiations on this at the moment?

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India: That is a naughty question but I will try to answer it. It is certainly true that we have I think some turbulence in the political air in Delhi, but I am confident we shall be able to overcome it. As someone said, if winter comes, can spring be far behind.