ibnlive » Politics

Aug 22, 2007 at 12:23pm IST

In Parliament, Japan PM N-sures he's diplomatic

New Delhi: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed Parliament on Wednesday, speaking on a range of bilateral issues and pitching for increased cooperation with India in various spheres.

However, Abe was conspicuous by not mentioning India’s nuclear demands or referring to supporting the country’s case at the Nuclear Supplier’s Group.

Pointing out that Japanese public's interest in India was growing, Abe said global partnership between India and Japan is pivotal to world security.

Abe also spoke about expanding strategic partnership, pointing out that Japan saw India as a partner.

Business and environment featured prominently on Japan PM’s speech. He said Japan wants to work with India to reduce greenhouse gases by 50 per cent by 2030 and that the two countries can lead the fight against climate change.

Japan will also work towards setting up a dedicated fund for industrial corridor in India, Abe said.

He also said that a strong India was in Japan’s interests and that the country will invite 500 Indian students every year.

Abe will begin a hectic round of consultations with the Indian officials on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Commerce and Industries Minister Kamal Nath today the historic Indo-Japanese Economic Partneship Agreement (EPA) had been put on ''fast track'' and would be finalised by the year-end.

Calling it a landmark agreement, Mr Nath said, ''The agreement has been put on fast track and will be completed by the year end.''

Talking to mediapersons, the Minister said the EPA was announced in December 2006 after three rounds of talks in Tokyo and Delhi and discussions will on this year for its early completion.

''We want to see that the agreement reaches its conclusion soon. For that reason we will hold two rounds of negotiations this year. The next round will be held in Japan and hope to see it conclude by December this year,'' Nath was quoted as saying.

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