Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh embarked on a three-day state visit to Japan Monday, poised to strengthen bilateral ties in political, security and energy spheres.
Ahead of his departure, Singh called for an early accord on a civil nuclear cooperation agreement that has remained suspended since the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011.
“We will explore ways to harness the full potential of our comprehensive economic cooperation partnership by intensifying and balancing our two-way trade and investment linkages,” the prime minister said Monday, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.
“There is a growing congruence in our interests and I see this relationship as an essential component of our vision for enduring stability and prosperity in Asia,” he added.
“The visit will also allow the two governments to take stock of the progress in flagship projects in our partnership, like the western dedicated freight corridor and the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, and to facilitate bilateral engagement for meaningful and mutually beneficial association,” the statement said.
Singh said he also hoped to exchange views with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on “important regional and global developments of shared interest.”
The premier urged Japanese industry to step up investment in India and promote the development of India’s infrastructure, which he described as “a big bottleneck.”
“I see an enormous role for Japanese industry to contribute not only to infrastructure development of India, but also to accelerate the tempo of the manufacturing sector,” Singh said on Sunday, according to an AFP report.
Singh was originally scheduled to visit Japan in November last year, but the trip was postponed in the wake of Japan’s election.
Singh will also visit Thailand on the second leg of his tour to meet Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. “Thailand is an important bilateral partner as well as a regional leader situated at the heart of Asean,” he said in Monday’s statement.
Being maritime neighbors, India and Thailand share common interests in maritime security, he added.