News Column

Japan India UPDATE1

January 25, 2014

NEW DELHI , Jan. 25 -- ( Kyodo ) _ (EDS: CHANGING DATELINE. UPDATING. ADDING INFO, QUOTE) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will talk with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh after arriving in India on Saturday as the two nations seek to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the economic and security areas. During a three-day visit, Abe will attend a ceremony Sunday to mark the anniversary of the 1950 implementation of the Indian Constitution, becoming the first Japanese prime minister to be invited to the Republic Day event where he will review a military parade along with Indian leaders, at a time when China's increasing maritime assertiveness has made many Asian countries nervous. At the summit, Abe is expected to announce around 200 billion yen ( $2 billion ) in loans to India to help finance a project to expand the subway system in New Delhi , Japanese officials said. The loans come in addition to Japan's official development assistance for the developing country to build the metro system. Many Japanese business leaders have accompanied Abe on the trip, apparently aiming to promote Japanese technologies in India to build large infrastructure such as transportation systems and facilities for solar and wind power generation. The two leaders will also likely discuss ongoing negotiations between their countries for an accord on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, which would enable Japan to export reactors to India where the growing economy requires a stable supply of energy. The prime ministers agreed in May when they met in Tokyo that the countries would resume civil nuclear cooperation talks suspended in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Among other issues to be discussed are a plan to conduct a joint naval drill and a proposal for Japan to provide India with amphibious planes for search and rescue purposes. The potential upgrade of their security cooperation seems to take into account the increasing maritime assertiveness of China in nearby oceans, where it has territorial disputes with Japan and some other Asian countries. "I and Prime Minister Singh have continued to work to develop Japan - India relations. I hope we can further deepen our ties," Abe told reporters at Haneda airport in Tokyo before leaving for India . Abe last visited India in 2007 during his first stint as prime minister. He took office for the second time in December 2012 . He will return to Tokyo on Monday.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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