India and Japan have agreed to promote their bilateral strategic and global partnership especially in economic and security areas, with Tokyo granting a USD 2.32 billion aid for infrastructure building.
"We hope to deepen and develop a strategic and global partnership (with India) by building a close cooperative relationship," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said after meeting External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid here.
During the meeting yesterday, Kishida unveiled a 220 billion yen (USD 2.32 billion) aid to India for infrastructure building and a 71-billion-yen loan (USD 753.17 million) for the subway project in India's financial capital Mumbai, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.
Khurshid appreciated the aid, saying "Such assistance has been utilised in upgrading our infrastructure. The iconic Delhi Metro project has positively impacted the lives of millions of Indian citizens in the National Capital Region of Delhi."
The loan package consists of four projects, including a freight railway project connecting New Delhi and Mumbai, and a subway construction project in southern India.
Kyodo said the two leaders also agreed to further advance cooperation on a future high-speed railway project.
"Our security cooperation is proceeding well. Earlier this year, we received the Chief of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force in India and your Defence Minister is expected to visit us later this year. The 1st Maritime Affairs Dialogue between India and Japan was held in January this year," Khurshid said, noting that bilateral security cooperation is proceeding well.
"As the two largest democracies of Asia, we agreed to expand our cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Foreign Minister Kishida and I agreed that India and Japan will coordinate their actions more closely within the East Asia Summit process," Khurshid said.
On his part, Kishida said, "We agreed to promote cooperation in ensuring maritime safety and security through joint exercises, while enhancing a bilateral political dialogue and a trilateral one involving Japan, the US and India."
They also agreed to promote negotiations on a bilateral nuclear energy pact as part of civilian nuclear energy cooperation between the two countries, Kyodo said.
The two leaders also discussed a visit to Japan by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which has been postponed since November but that could take place "shortly," it said.
"We will coordinate our actions and efforts more closely within the East Asia Summit process," Khurshid said.
"My ambition is to take our relationship a little bit higher" than the 634-meter Skytree communications tower, one of the newest landmarks in Tokyo, he added.