New Delhi: Unveiling his concept of “broader Asia”, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on 22 August pitched in for closer cooperation between his country and India in defence, security and economic fields to create an “arc of freedom and prosperity” in the region.
Addressing the MPs in Parliament, he favoured early conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to push economic relations and raise the volume of bilateral trade to $20 billion in the next three years.
Outlining the various fields in which the two countries can cooperate closely, he promised to help India in the field of energy by providing technology but there was no mention of nuclear power.
Abe, the third Japanese Prime Minister to address the Parliament, also vowed to assist India in infrastructure development, particularly the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata Dedicated Freight Corridors and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
“A broader Asia, that broke away geographical boundaries, is now beginning to take a distinct form,” he told the packed Central Hall of Parliament while emphasising that the two countries have “the ability and the responsibility to ensure that it broadens yet further”.
In the 20-minute address in presence of Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Somanth Chatterjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said the changes now beginning to take place between India and Japan have “no precedent”.