National / Politics

Singh-Abe talks likely to cover all key issues: official


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart will discuss how to bolster bilateral ties, including on nuclear power, security, high-speed rail technology and trade and investment, when they meet in Tokyo this week, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Japan on Monday for an annual bilateral summit that began in 2005, Mathai said Friday.

Mathai said the Indian government hopes to make progress toward concluding a bilateral nuclear energy deal during Singh’s visit. He is scheduled to hold talks with Abe on Tuesday.

“A civil nuclear deal with Japan has been under discussion, though there are various aspects regarding safety concerns. But we hope to make more progress on this by yearend,” Mathai said.

India and Japan began negotiations in June 2010 to hammer out a nuclear cooperation deal, but they were suspended following the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns disaster.

Singh and Abe will also discuss a project to build an industrial corridor stretching from Delhi to Mumbai, India’s financial and industrial hub, according to Mathai. Tokyo has pledged financial and technical support for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project.

On bilateral trade, which totals $17.5 billion (about ¥1.8 trillion)a year, Mathai said Singh will press for greater access for Indian goods to the Japanese market.

Singh will also address the corporate community and the Japan-India Parliamentary Friendship League, and is scheduled to meet with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, Cabinet ministers and political leaders during his three-day trip.

The Indian prime minister had been scheduled to visit Japan last November, but the trip was put off at the last minute because of the dissolution of the Lower House that month in preparation for December’s general election.

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