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PM's statement before leaving for Japan

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 11:17 IST

Following is the text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement before leaving for Tokyo on a four-day visit:

I am travelling to Tokyo for an official visit to Japan from December 14 to 16 at the invitation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

I see this journey as part of the increasing Eastern orientation of India's foreign policy and our quest for greater engagement with countries in the larger East Asian region.

In the evolving regional and international environment, India and Japan increasingly find that their long-term political, economic and strategic interests are converging.

Today, our bilateral relations are poised to enter a new and dynamic phase, driven by a shared desire to enhance the bilateral relationship.

I will have the opportunity to discuss with Prime Minister Abe ways to reinforce the strategic focus in our global partnership, to move to a more comprehensive economic engagement, and to develop mutually beneficial cooperation over the entire range of the relationship, including security and terrorism, energy, transport, science and technology and culture.

During my visit to Japan, I will also have the honour to call on their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

I am scheduled to address a Joint Session of the Diet, which I shall use to reaffirm to the leaders of Japan India's strong desire for closer relations.

I will also inaugurate the 'Festival of India in Japan' and participate in an interaction with senior business leaders of Japan.

I look forward to using this visit to elevate India-Japan relations to a qualitatively new level.