India, Japan agree to take strategic partnership forward

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New Delhi, Dec 29 (ANI): India and Japan have signed a joint statement on moving to a new stage of their strategic and global partnership here today.

The joint statement to this effect was signed by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Yukio Hatoyama after their talks on a wide range of issues including civil nuclear energy and energy security.

The two sides have also come out with an action plan to advance their security, cooperation based on the joint declaration that was signed between the two countries on the issue in October last year.

The two leaders have decided to expedite the negotiations on the comprehensive economic partnership agreement so that it can be signed as early as possible.

They also leaders decided that they will work for conclusion on the agreement for the main loan for the first phase of western dedicated freight corridor by March next year that it can start in 2010 itself.

Japanese Premier Hatoyama, who is on his first official visit after taking over in mid-September, was accompanied by his wife Miyuki Hatoyama at yesterday's dinner hosted by Dr Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at their 7 Race Course Road residence.

Earlier, the Japanese Prime Minister met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, ICCR President Dr. Karan Singh and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma .

Japan and India, Asia's largest and third largest economies, have been working at improving ties since Japan slapped sanctions on India in response to its 1998 nuclear tests.

India wants details of Hatoyama's foreign policy, particularly Tokyo's attempts to pursue a foreign policy more independent of Washington and improve ties with China.

Hatoyama's talks with India could also focus on climate change policies -- with the two countries on opposite sides of the debate, particularly on expanding the scope of Japanese support for renewable energy projects in India. (ANI)

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