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Future of world linked to Asia, say Manmohan, Koizumi

Saturday 30 April 2005

Diplomatic Correspondent

`Emerging as leading growth centre of global economy’

- Important to raise the profile of India in Japan and vice-versa

- Special effort to be made along with the private sector for higher levels of Japanese investments in India

- Japanese language studies to be promoted in India

- Collaboration in science and technology planned

NEW DELHI: India and Japan on Friday said Asia was now emerging as the leading growth centre of the global economy and "exerting an ever-greater influence" in global affairs.

Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Junichiro Koizumi, who signed a joint statement after discussions at Hyderabad House here, expressed happiness at the rapid transformation taking place in Asia and confidence in its "bright future".

"The two leaders are deeply aware that these developments will shape the future contours of Asian economies and politics. They also share the recognition that peace, stability and development in Asia are indispensable for world peace and development and the future of the world is intimately linked to the future of Asia.

"The two leaders recognise the need for concerted efforts among Asian countries to translate the positive developments into an `arc of advantage and prosperity’ involving growth, prosperity, stability and closer integration in Asia. They are also aware of the responsibility that the two countries shoulder in this new emerging Asian era and are committed to working closely towards that end," the statement said.

Both sides agreed to make a special effort in collaboration with the private sector to encourage higher levels of Japanese investment in India. "They will strengthen technical cooperation to improve the competitiveness of Indian manufacturing industries."

On people-to-people contacts, the leaders recognised the importance of raising the profile of India in Japan and vice versa. "They firmly believe that cultural and academic initiatives and stronger people-to-people contacts will create the right environment for the leaders of tomorrow to carry forward the vision of global partnership, and will build upon the goodwill that exists in the two countries in respect of each other," said an eight-point action plan issued along with the joint statement.

"Accordingly, the Governments of India and Japan will work together to promote Japanese language studies in India, with a target of 30,000 learners at different levels in the next five years, and through measures including the introduction of the Japanese language as an optional foreign language in the Indian secondary school curriculum. "In this regard, the Government of Japan welcomes and encourages the Government of India’s initiative to establish Centres of Japanese Studies at Indian universities and institutions where Japanese language is being taught and to set up Japanese language teaching cells in seven Indian Institutes of Technology."

India and Japan agreed to work together in science and technology, including high technology.

"They will work together to launch a new science and technology initiative, which will explore possible substantial cooperation in areas such as modern biology, biotechnology and healthcare, agriculture, hydrocarbon fuels, nano science and technology, environment, information and communication technology, robotics, alternative sources of energy ... "

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