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Prime Minister's Departure Statement ahead of his visit to Japan

August 29, 2014

I am keenly looking forward to my visit to Japan at the invitation of my good friend, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for the Annual Summit between India and Japan.

This will be my first bilateral visit outside India’s immediate neighbourhood as Prime Minister of India, which underlines the high priority that Japan receives in our foreign and economic policies. It is also a reflection of Japan’s paramount importance in my vision for development and prosperity in India and in peace, stability and prosperity in Asia at large.

Japan is one of our closest partners in political, economic, security and cultural realms. It is a key regional and global partner for us. Between our countries, there is only goodwill and mutual admiration. Buddhism from India has inspired Japan for over a millennium. We in India similarly draw inspiration from Japan’s vanguard role as the fountainhead of Asia’s modernization, resurgence and rejuvenation. The people in India are grateful for the seminal contribution made by Japan’s generous ODA over the years to India’s economic, social and infrastructure development.

I will begin my visit from Japan’s old capital Kyoto, which is rich in heritage of our civilizations. I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Abe for joining me there, which demonstrates a special commitment and support for the relationship. My visit to Kyoto reflects the ancient foundations of our contemporary relations and will also focus on some of our nation’s priorities, including urban renewal and smart heritage cities as well as advanced scientific research.

From there, I will proceed to Tokyo, where I hope to discuss with Prime Minister Abe the roadmap for our global and strategic partnership in the years ahead.

During this visit, I propose to celebrate these links of history and the experiences of our peoples, and impart new meaning to them. We will explore how Japan can associate itself productively with my vision of inclusive development in India, including the transformation of India’s manufacturing, infrastructure sectors, energy and social sectors. We will discuss how to boost our defence and security cooperation, including in defence technology, equipment and industry, in line with the evolving domestic policies of the two countries. I will try to accelerate progress on the unfinished agenda of projects and initiatives that our two countries have embarked upon.

I am meeting Prime Minister Abe at a time of enormous global challenges, from persisting economic weaknesses to turmoil and transitions in different parts of the world. I hope to exchange views with Prime Minister Abe on important regional and global developments of shared interest.

I look forward to an audience with His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, who graced the people of India with a most memorable visit to our country last year. I will have an opportunity to interact with leaders across the entire political spectrum in Japan, regional leaders, captains of business and industry, friends of India in Japan as well as Indian brothers and sisters living and working in Japan.

I am confident that my visit will write a new chapter in the annals of the relations between Asia’s two oldest democracies and take our Strategic and Global Partnership to the next higher level.

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