TOKYO, Oct 24 � Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh arrived here this evening on a two-day Annual Summit visit to Japan as part of his week-long East Asia tour. During his stay here he will hold talks with Prime Minister Naota Kan to strengthen strategic and global partnership.
Growing defence and economic cooperation between the two countries and efforts to chart out a security framework for Asia have been the hallmark of India-Japan ties in recent years.
The increasingly aggressive posture of China towards India and Japan (over the disputed South Sea Islands) have brought the two nations closer . Under the circumstances, defence cooperation between the two countries is likely to increase in view of their concern on the China front.
Both India and Japan have been enjoying close friendship traditionally . Buddhism in Japan is binding cultural factor. The emergence of Japan in the early 20th century as a world power inspired Indian freedom fighters and Japan�s help to Netaji and the Indian National Army (INA) left an indelible mark on Indian minds. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru �s visit to war ravaged Japan in 1949 was a source of inspiration to the Japanese people.
Significantly, both India and Japan share similar views on various political issues including Afghanistan which goes a long way in removing irritants in bilateral relations.
Indo-Japanese economic cooperation has received a boost with India embarking on construction of mega infrastructure projects with Japanese assistance which have the potential of transforming India�s economy. An infrastructure project development fund has been mooted where Japanese companies would be encouraged to take up projects in India under the private sector.
Japanese assistance in modernisation of Indian railway system by introduction of high speed trains and development of railway tracks is also on the cards.An ageing Japanese population and growing economic competition will it is increasingly believed shift Japanese attention to India�s vast pool of technical manpower and booming market in the coming days .
The Indian Prime Minister shall leave for Malaysia on Tuesday on the second leg of his tour where he will hold discussions with Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib on bilateral issues . Increasing Defence cooperation on maritime security to combat piracy on the Mallaca Straits and the Somali coast have brought the two nations closer in recent times.
Dr Manmohan Singh will wind up his East Asia tour by visiting Vietnam where he will attend the 8th India -ASEAN Summit and 5th East Asia Summit in Hanoi . This year�s summit is expected to welcome US and Russia to the EAS process. He will also have the opportunity to meet the Chinese Prime Minister among other leaders during the summit.