Indo-Japan ties to play vital role in Asian Security:PM

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) A strong India-Japan relationship will play a significant role in the emerging Asian security architecture and will contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the whole region and the world, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here today.

In a departure statement on his visit to Japan and China, the Prime Minister said he considered the ties with Japan to be one of the most important bilateral relationships for India.

''India and Japan are two major countries in Asia, sharing many similar interests and subscribing to common values,'' said Dr Singh.

The Prime Minister will be visiting Japan from October 22 to 23 for the Annual Summit meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries.

He said in his discussions with Prime Minister Taro Aso, who is a close friend of India, he would review the progress that had been achieved in the two countries' bilateral ties over the last one year and set the agenda for the next year.

He would also call on the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

''Even though over the last four years there has been significant progress in all aspects of our bilateral relationship, there is still a lot of untapped potential that remains to be realised,'' the Prime Minister said.

Describing Japan as an important economic partner for India, he said the second meeting of the India-Japan Business Leaders Forum will be held on the sidelines of his visit.

He would also address a gathering of Japan's business leaders being organised by the Nippon Keidanren. Dr Singh said after his visit to Japan, he would be traveling to Beijing for the 7th ASEM Summit.

''This will be the first time India will be participating in an ASEM Summit. Our participation in this Summit is a natural corollary of our close and growing ties with countries in Asia and Europe,'' he said.

On the margins of the ASEM Summit, in addition to meeting President Hu Jintao, he would have the opportunity to meet with other world leaders, including President Purvanov of Bulgaria, President Enkhbayar of Mongolia, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy and Prime Minister Nguyan Tan Dung of Vietnam, said Dr Singh.

UNI NAZ BDP DS1235

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