Friends, Mina-Sama, Komban Wa! A Zen Buddhist saying in Japanese says - "Ichigo Ichie” , which means that our every meeting is unique and we must treasure every moment. I have visited Japan many times, and this is my second visit as Prime Minister. And, every visit has been unique, special, educative and deeply rewarding.I have met Excellency Abe on many occasions in Japan, India and around the world. I have also had the privilege of receiving several high level Japanese political and business leaders in India in the last couple of years. The frequency of our interaction demonstrates the drive, dynamism and depth of our ties. It also reflects our continuing commitment to realize the full potential of our Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
Friends, In our conversation today, Prime Minister Abe and I took stock of the progress in our ties since the last Summit. It is clear to both of us that our cooperation has progressed on multiple fronts.
Deeper economic engagement, growth of trade, manufacturing and investment ties, focus on clean energy, partnership to secure our citizens, and cooperation on infrastructure and skill development are among our key priorities.
Today's signing of the Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy marks a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership. Our cooperation in this field will help us combat the challenge of Climate Change. I also acknowledge the special significance that such an agreement has for Japan.I thank Prime Minister Abe the Japanese government and the Parliament for their support to this agreement.
Friends, India and its economy are pursuing many transformations. Our aim is to become a major centre for manufacturing, investments and for the twenty first century knowledge industries.And, in this journey, we see Japan as a natural partner. We believe there is vast scope to combine our relative advantages, whether of capital, technology or human resources, to work for mutual benefit.
In terms of specific projects, we remain focused on making strong progress on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project. Our engagement and agreement on cooperation in the financial sector will help us in accessing greater resources for infrastructure development. Our dialogue in regard to training and skills development has broken new ground, and is an important component of our economic partnership. We are also shaping new partnerships in areas such as space science, marine and earth since, textiles, sports, agriculture and postal banking.
Friends, Our strategic partnership is not only for the good and security of our own societies. It also brings peace, stability and balance to the region. It is alive and responsive to emerging opportunities and challenges in Asia-Pacific.As countries with an inclusive outlook, we have agreed to cooperate closely to promote connectivity, infrastructure and capacity-building in the regions that occupy the inter-linked waters of the Indo-Pacific.The successful Malabar naval exercise has underscored the convergence in our strategic interests in the broad expanse of the waters of the Indo-Pacific.As democracies, we support openness, transparency and the rule of law. We are also united in our resolve to combat the menace of terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism.
Friends, The relations between our two countries are blessed by deep cultural and people to people ties. During Prime Minister Abe’s visit to India in December last year, I had committed to take steps to create basis for their further expansion.And, as a result, since March 2016 we extended ‘Visa-On Arrival’ facility to all Japanese nationals. We have also gone a step further in extending a long-term 10-year visa facility to eligible Japanese business persons.
Friends, We India and Japan also consult and cooperate closely in regional and international fora. We will continue to work together for reforms of the United Nations and strive together for our rightful place in the UN Security Council. I wish to thank Prime Minister Abe for the support extended for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
We both recognize that the future of our partnership is rich and robust. There is no limit to the scope and scale of what we can do together, for ourselves and for the region.
And, a key reason for this is your strong and dynamic leadership. It is indeed a privilege to be your partner and friend. I wish to thank you for the most valuable outcomes of this Summit, and for your generous welcome and hospitality.
Anata No O Motenashi O Arigato Gozaimashita!
(Thank you for your kind hospitality!) Thank you, Thank you very much.