Stronger Japan, India in each other’s interest: Shinzo Abe

Tokyo, May 29 (IANS) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Wednesday said a stronger Japan and India were in each other’s interest and to ensure peace and prosperity in Asia.

Welcoming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a three-day visit to Japan, at a dinner hosted by him, Abe said: “I am focused, single-mindedly, to rebuilding Japan. Only a strong Japan can do good for the betterment of the world. Only a vibrant Japan can work more, jointly with India. As I have said repeatedly, a strong Japan is in the best interest of India, and vice versa.”

“India from the west, Japan from the east, the confluence of the two most deep-rooted democracies is already one important part of international common good for the 21st century. I am of a belief that it is the important task that Japan and India should shoulder to ensure that Asia remains in peace and prosperity,” Abe said.

Referring to the strategic partnership between the two countries, Abe said: “I am of a belief that it is the task for the maritime democracies to safeguard our vast oceans.”

Calling Manmohan Singh his “dear friend”, Abe said that he (Manmohan Singh) was the “senior-most, sometimes a mentor-like” leader. He said that his friendship with Manmohan Singh had “touched me most deeply”.

“I think I have learnt from you more than I am aware myself. You think, do you not, that history, not the daily headlines, is the only judge for the steps you have taken. I think I must do as you have done, in your hallmark calmness,” Abe said.

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