"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] PM's address at the Reception by Japan-India Association and Japan-India Parliamentary Friendship League

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] October 23, 2008
[Source] Prime Minister of India
[Full text]

"Thank you for your gracious words of welcome. I am truly honoured by the generous hospitality of so many friends of India. I am also happy to be in the midst of my fellow citizens and people of Indian origin.

I deeply appreciate the presence of PM Mori and PM Fukuda. That reflects the depth of India Japan relations.

I greatly appreciate the warm sentiments that have been expressed towards India and towards me personally. Let me assure you that the people of India deeply value Japan's friendship.

The Japan-India Association has been in the forefront of promoting closer cultural and economic ties between our two countries for over a century.

The visionary elder statesmen who established the Association in 1903 were convinced that India and Japan would emerge as two major pillars of the new Asia. It was thanks to their efforts that partnership between India and Japan grew in the early years, particularly in the economic field.

Some of the greatest sons of India, the philosopher Vivekananda, the renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore and the industrial pioneer Jamshedji Tata, among others, renewed our ancient ties with Japan in the modern era.

India's first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, visited Japan in the late 1950s and laid the foundation of a new era of abiding friendship between the two Asian democracies.

We are very grateful to Japan for the development assistance provided to India, particularly for our industrial modernisation. In the past sixty years, we have broadened and deepened this relationship into a durable productive partnership.

In the next phase of our relationship, we seek to exploit the opportunities offered by globalisation and by the synergies in our economies to expand flows of trade, technology, investment and people-to-people contacts.

Under the visionary leadership of former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, a new chapter was opened in our ties following his landmark visit to India in the year 2000. We are very grateful and appreciative of the personal attention that he has devoted to the rejuvenation and deepening of our bilateral engagement.

I thank the Japan-India Parliamentary Friendship League, and its President Mr. Taro Nakayama, for their important role in building the broad based political consensus that exists in both countries on strengthening India-Japan ties.

The world is facing multiple challenges. The spectre of recession in the global economy, coming as it does in the wake of the steep rises of energy and food prices, threatens to disrupt the rhythm of economic development in many developing countries. Terrorism is a danger to our peace-loving societies. Climate change and environmental degradation also threaten our beautiful planet.

We look to the wise counsel and leadership of Japan in rising to meet these challenges. We wish to draw upon Japan's vast developmental experience and her traditional emphasis on consensus, harmony and balance in solving these problems that threaten global peace and prosperity.

I have been a frequent visitor to this beautiful country since 1971. It has been my earnest desire, for the past several decades, to see this relationship prosper and grow. I am very happy to witness today the transformation of India-Japan relations. It is truly developing into a global and strategic partnership as envisaged when PM Mori visited India in 2000.

On the strength of our strong bilateral relationship, we stand as two major powers ready to play a commensurate global role. India believes that a strong and dynamic Japan is a powerful factor of peace and stability in Asia and the world.

I commend the contribution of the Indian community in Japan. They have built bridges of friendship and understanding between our two people. Their achievements have made India proud and we wish them well in their adopted home.

I am confident that all of us gathered here today will redouble our efforts to strengthen our bilateral relationship, which is important for our two countries, for Asia and for the world."