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Abe will be Republic Day chief guest, to hold talks with PM

Briefing reporters here on Abe’s visit, the External Affairs ministry officials said all aspects of the relationship apart from the key regional and international issues will be discussed during the restricted and delegation-level talks between the two prime ministers.

Afghanistan, UN reforms and economic ties will among the important points for deliberations between the two sides, Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary, in-charge of Japan devision in MEA, said. Asked about presentation of some of the weaponries, including nuclear-capable missiles, during the Republic Day parade, he said, it will be a ‘military-cum-civilian’ parade which is not purely military as it will also showcase India’s social and cultural aspects. The spokesperson added the discussions between the two prime ministers ‘will add substance and content to the India-Japan strategic and global partnership.’

However, no major pact is likely to be inked during Abe’s visit. Japanese Emperor and Empress too had visited India two months ago. Since Abe took over in December 2012 in his second term as Prime Minister, ties between India and Japan have witnessed upward swing.

Prime minister Singh had visited Japan last year for the seventh annual summit during which the two leaders extensively discussed bilateral, regional and global issues of common interest which enhanced and strengthened the strategic and global partnership. The increasing proximity between India and Japan also come against the backdrop of a spike in tensions between Japan and China over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Noting that India and Japan were engaged in ‘early conclusion’ of a civil nuclear cooperation pact, Bambawale however, refused to give any deadline for inking it. The talks, which were launched in 2010, had slowed down after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, but gained momentum after direction from the Prime Ministers of the two countries to conclude it early.
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