New Delhi: With their ties on an upward
trajectory, India and Japan will have strategic dialogue on
Saturday when Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada arrives
here for a visit during which wide gamut of issues, including
civil nuclear cooperation, will be on the agenda.
Okada, who reaches here on the morning of August 21, will
have delegation-level talks with External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna during which both sides will review the status of the
relationship between the two countries which held two rounds
of nuclear negotiations since their launch in June this year.
New Delhi appears to be unfazed by the declaration made
by Mayor of Nagasaki criticizing the Japanese government for
launching nuclear cooperation talks with India. Sources here
noted that it was not the stand of Japanese government nor has
Tokyo conveyed it to New Delhi.
Sources also emphasized that dialogue on the issue was
very much on track and no timelines have not been fixed by
either side to conclude civil nuclear agreement.
"The two sides have decided to work towards a good
working pact in the area, creating a win-win situation for
both the countries. And there is no timelines to it," sources
An accord will allow top Japanese companies, including
Hitachi and Toshiba, to sell atomic power equipment to the
growing Indian market now estimated to be USD 150 billion.
Besides civil nuclear cooperation, the two sides will
also discuss economic ties, situation in Pakistan and
Afghanistan, reforms in the UN and expansion of its Security
Council. Okada is also expected to raise the situation in
North Korea which does not have diplomatic relations with
The visit is also aimed at firming up the agenda for
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s trip to Tokyo later in the
year during which he will have a meeting with Japanese Prime
Minister Naoto Kan.
Sources said both sides were looking at some "concrete"
progress in various important fields such as trade and
investment during Singh`s visit to that country.
India and Japan are also involved in the negotiations for
a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
The pact is expected to slash tariff duties on around
9,000 products, ranging from steel and apparel to drugs and
machinery, and give a big boost to bilateral trade which was
estimated to be around USD 11 billion in 2008-09.
The two sides are also involved in high-tech trade
after Japan removed 11 Indian companies from the list of
end-user and added four new ones recently, generating a
positive momentum in bilateral ties.
Saturday`s meeting is first ministerial meeting after
2+2 dialogue here on July 6 during which the two countries
discussed issues ranging from counter-terrorism to the UN