Source: News Bharati English07 Sep 2016 20:14:43

Vientiane, Sept 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on the eve of ASEAN summit in Laotian capital Vientiane.

This was the second meeting between the two Prime Ministers in the past six months.  They had met on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April. Both the leaders discussed a slew of subjects including steps to strengthen bilateral relations.

"Discussing stronger ties with Japan...PM Narendra Modi meets Japan PM Shinzo Abe," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted as the almost 45-minute bilateral talks began. Modi will attend the 14th ASEAN-India Summit and 11th East Asia summit tomorrow. He will also have bilateral meetings with leaders of Myanmar and South Korea.

There could be more "pull aside" talks tomorrow with leaders, officials said.

Japan’s news agency Kyodo reported that both the leaders are likely to discuss cooperation in the defence sector. It may be mentioned that Japa’s maritime self –defence force and the Indian and US navies conducted Malabar joint maritime security exercises in June. The Japanese and Indian defence ministers agreed to repeat the joint exercise next year.

The friendship between India and Japan has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilization ties. Over the years, the two countries have built upon these values and created a partnership based on both principle and pragmatism. Bilateral ties have been singularly free of any kind of dispute, ideological, cultural or territorial.

The relationship is unique and one of mutual respect manifested in generous gestures and sentiments, and of standing by each other at times of need. The beginning of the 21st century witnessed a dramatic transformation in bilateral ties. The global partnership formed the foundation for the strengthening ties in diverse fields, including identifying strategic convergences.

Economic relations between India and Japan have vast potential for growth, given the obvious complementarities that exist between the two Asian economies. Japan's interest in India is increasing due to a variety of reasons including India's huge and growing market and its resources, especially the human resources.

The signing of the historic India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and its implementation from August 2011 is expected to further accelerate the growth of trade, economic and commercial relations between the two countries.