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2014年1月28日 (火)

日印首脳会談 潜在的な可能性を引き出せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 27, 2014
Japan must work closely with India to tap the country’s great potential
日印首脳会談 潜在的な可能性を引き出せ(1月27日付・読売社説)

It is extremely important for Japan to improve security and economic cooperation with India, which is enjoying remarkable growth.

On his visit to India, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on Saturday.

In their talks, Singh described Japan as India’s “key partner” for regional peace and stability and in his country’s economic development. In reply, Abe stressed that relations between Japan and India “have the greatest potential of any bilateral relationship anywhere in the world.”

This is Abe’s second trip to India. He visited the country in 2007 during his previous term as prime minister. For last weekend’s visit, he was invited to be chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day parade in New Delhi. It was the first time this honor has been extended to a Japanese prime minister and underscores the deepening ties between the two countries.

On diplomacy and security, Abe was quoted as saying that Japan was resolved to make further contributions to the international community, elaborating on his policy of making a “proactive contribution to peace.” In a joint statement issued after the talks, the Indian prime minister said he “appreciated Japan’s efforts to contribute to peace and stability of the region and the world.”

During their meeting, the two leaders agreed to hold regular consultations between Shotaro Yachi, secretary general of National Security Secretariat of Japan’s newly created National Security Council, and India’s national security adviser.

Abe and Singh also agreed to continue joint maritime exercises between the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy, while continuing talks aimed at exporting the MSDF’s US2 amphibious maritime rescue aircraft to India.

Holding China in check

Bolstering cooperation on bilateral security is a prerequisite for Japan to ensure the security of its sea lanes, particularly routes used to transport such goods as crude oil.

With Japan and India sharing concerns over China’s expanding military might, the Abe-Singh agreements are aimed at keeping China in check.

The joint statement explicitly referred to the importance of “freedom of overflights and civil aviation safety” in connection with bilateral security cooperation. This reference has obviously been included in light of the high-handed, aggressive advances by China both at sea and in the air.

Abe also has announced a yen loan worth more than ¥200 billion for infrastructure improvement projects in India, including the Delhi Metro subway system. Abe and Singh also agreed that the two countries will work together to expedite plans for a high-speed railway linking Mumbai and Ahmadabad in western India, as Japan hopes to see its Shinkansen technology sold abroad.

India, which has the world’s second-largest population, is an extremely attractive market for Japan. However, two-way trade and investment between Japan and India is significantly lower than that between Japan and China, meaning there is considerable potential to expand Japan-India economic relations.

On his three-day visit to India, Abe was accompanied by a delegation of prominent business leaders. The Japanese government and private-sector businesses should work as one in boosting Japan’s economic ties with India.

The Japanese and Indian leaders also have agreed to accelerate negotiations to conclude as early as possible a civil nuclear pact that will enable Japan to export nuclear power generation technology and related equipment to India.

Some are skeptical of the wisdom of concluding such an agreement with India, a nuclear state that has not joined the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

While taking this seriously into account, the government should accelerate the pace of negotiations for a Japan-India nuclear cooperation agreement.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 27, 2014)
(2014年1月27日01時34分  読売新聞)


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