India, Japan agree to fast track work on freight, industrial corridors

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Tokyo, July 3 (ANI): India and Japan on Friday agreed to take steps to fast track work on the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project.

The decision was announced at a joint press conference by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries-Hirofumi Nakasone and S.M. Krishna-after the conclusion of the two-day Third Japan-India Strategic Dialogue here.

Foreign Minister Nakasone also confirmed bilateral collaboration on the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad.

On the issue of disarmament and non-proliferation, the Japanese Minister revealed that he had shared Tokyo's '11 benchmarks' for promoting the same, and added that Krishna and he had agreed that both countries should work together to commence negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) at the earliest.

It was also agreed that there was a need to enhance bilateral exchange of views between Japan and India, on the regional situation in South Asia, international challenges and regional situations.

Both ministers shared the view that the nuclear and missile development by North Korea is a threat to the international community, and that there was a need to implement the measures set out in the UN Security resolution 1874 and make North Korea to take this very seriously.

Endorsing the views of Nakasone, Krishna said New Delhi attached high importance to its bilateral relations with Tokyo.

"We thoroughly reviewed our bilateral relations since my Prime Minister's visit to Tokyo in October 2008. We agreed that the Strategic and Global Partnership between us is an important factor in furthering our ties, as well as in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world," said Krishna.

"We are making progress in our negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Foreign Minister Nakasone and I agreed on the necessity of concluding a high quality and mutually beneficial agreement," he added.

Krishna also revealed that Japan's Official Development Assistance to India was reviewed and New Delhi appreciated Tokyo's contribution to "our economic development".

He also said that both ministers reviewed the follow-up on the implementation of the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation.

Other issues taken up were UN reform and the important global challenge of climate change.

Krishna said that he would be calling on Prime Minister Taro Aso before returning to New Delhi. (ANI)

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