India - Japan unveil joint action plan for security, cooperation

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New Delhi, Dec 29 (ANI): India and Japan on Tuesday unveiled a joint action plan to strengthen security and cooperation.

Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who is on his first visit to India after assuming office and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed the joint statement here.

"On security we issued a joint statement and we have further deepened that security relationship by coming up with a action plan. And, I welcome this very much and we shall be realizing a sub-committee level 2+2 dialogue and also in regards to cooperation in defence we can see ways of communication. I believe stepped up cooperation between our countries will be very meaningful," said Hatoyama.

Hatoyama, however,was non-committal on nuclear cooperation with India, but said it would be a very important agenda in the future, thereby keeping the window for cooperation open.

"We also discussed cooperation in nuclear energy area because I believe that there will be a very important agenda in the future," Hatoyama said.

Both sides also agreed to enhance trade relations, which, as of now, are far below potential.

Hatoyama acknowledged that Japan's direct investments in India needed to be enhanced.

"Bilateral Japan-Indo trade still remains far below the level of Japan-China trade and only 1/20TH of the Japan China trade. However last year Japan sent direct investments to India for the first time and it surpassed Japan's investment to China and infact it was a dramatic year and I think it's important that we further speed up and encourage such investments," said Hatoyama.

Japan is India's sixth largest investor. Bilateral trade, estimated at more than 12 billion dollars in 2008-09, is targeted to climb to 20 billion dollars by next year. (ANI)

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