ibnlive » Politics

Aug 22, 2007 at 12:24pm IST

Japan PM's India trip high on warmth, low on steam

New Delhi: Japan's visiting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will begin a hectic round of consultations with the Indian government officials on Wednesday.

While his arrival at Palam Airport on Tuesday afternoon was low key, the warmth in ties was palpable, reflective of the steady upswing in bilateral exchanges.

In fact Abe and Manmohan Singh got down to business hours after his arrival. As 200 Japanese businessmen looked on, both leaders looked forward to investment and enhancing economic opportunities.

“The key to further strengthening economic ties between the two countries lies in live exchanges between the business of the two countries,” Abe said.

The real business will begin when the Abe addresses Parliament on Tuesday and India gets a sense of where its relations with Japan are going.

“We have an obligation to our people and the world community at large to have an energy efficient path for development,” said Manmohan Singh.

Abe wants to know how the two countries can cooperate to ensure security in Asia. He also wants to implement the plan for a strategic partnership, now almost a year old.

Manmohan Singh will seek Japan's support to push India's case at the Nuclear Supplier's Group, but a senior Japanese government official earlier told journalists that's unlikely.

Even so, Abe will probably tell Manmohan he would like to see India wrap up its safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

Given the political crisis in India and Abe's own problems at home, they will probably seize on the economic opportunities provided by the visit to make it a success.

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