Thursday, December 29, 2011

India, Japan reaffirm support for Nalanda EAS as a forum for dialogue

Acknowledging the significant role that the East Asia Summit (EAS) can play as a forum for building an open, inclusive and transparent architecture of regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, India and Japan today reaffirmed their support for the EAS as a forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia.

"They (Indian Prime Minister and Japanese Prime Minister) acknowledged the significant role the EAS can play as a forum for building an open, inclusive and transparent architecture of regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. They welcomed the participation of the United States of America and the Russian Federation in the EAS," said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) after the meeting between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda here today.

"They expressed support for the EAS as a Leaders-led forum with ASEAN as the driving force. In the context of the Declaration of the East Asia Summit on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations and the Declaration on ASEAN Connectivity adopted at the 6th EAS, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to the promotion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) as a step towards attaining economic integration in East Asia," the statement adds.

The two leaders welcomed the progress to establish ASEAN Plus Working Groups and decided to cooperate in the Groups.They also expressed their support for ASEAN Connectivity and considered the possibility of having a "Connectivity Master Plan Plus" which would develop further linkages between ASEAN and its partners, with appropriate reference to the "Comprehensive Asia Development Plan", and welcomed support and inputs from Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) for attaining economic integration in East Asia," the statement said.

"They noted with satisfaction that CEPA between India and Japan is an important step for regional integration," the statement adds.The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the commitment of India and Japan, as two maritime nations in Asia, to the universally agreed principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other relevant international maritime law.

They affirmed expansion of cooperation in maritime security including safety and freedom of navigation and anti-piracy activities, by promoting bilateral and multilateral exercises, and through information sharing, as well as dialogues. In this context, they also welcomed the joint exercise between the Indian Coast Guard and the Japan Coast Guard to be held in January 2012.The two leaders appreciated the progress made with regard to the establishment of the Nalanda University and reiterated their support to its revival as an icon of Asian renaissance and as an international institute of excellence.

"India welcomed Japan's intention to provide tangible contribution to this initiative including through measures to enhance academic exchange and human resource development," the statement said.The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that three rounds of India-Japan Dialogue on Africa have been concluded.
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