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Compared with its long historical and cultural ties and deep economic relations with China, Japan’s relations with India are not so strong. But the economic and strategic importance of the world’s largest democracy to Japan is growing fast. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s visit to India in late December was followed by visits this month by trade and industry minister Yukio Edano and infrastructure and transport minister Takeshi Maeda.

Mr. Noda and his Indian counterpart, Mr. Manmohan Singh, agreed on several points. Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces and the Indian Navy will conduct their first joint exercise this year. Japan will provide $4.5 billion over five years for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project. Both countries will raise their currency swap ceiling from $3 billion to $15 billion to help India cope with the rapid withdrawal of foreign funds due to the gloomy world economy outlook. They will push consultations to resume negotiations over bilateral nuclear energy cooperation.

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