NEW DELHI, Jan 11: India accords highest priority to Indo-Japan relationship which is deep rooted and historical going back to the 6th century when Buddhism was introduced to Japan, said Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh while welcoming a Japanese parliamentary delegation that called on him Friday.
He said the relationship is based on common values of freedom, peace and democracy and both countries are partners in the pursuit of peace, development, prosperity and stability in the region.
“Our bilateral relations were upgraded to ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ during the visit of our prime minister to Japan in 2014 and have been constantly strengthened through mutual efforts,” he told the visiting delegation.
The Japanese delegation is here to strengthen parliamentary exchanges, economic and strategic relations. It is headed by Chuichi Date, president, House of Councillors of the Diet of Japan.
Referring to the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese premier Shinzo Abe in 2018, Harivansh said it was very productive and covered areas as diverse as economic cooperation, maritime security, new and digital technologies, and healthcare partnership.
He said it underscores the belief that the India-Japan relationship is a defining partnership of the 21st century and goes beyond bilateral relation.
Highlighting the importance of parliamentary exchanges in promoting and sustaining understanding between the two countries, Harivansh mentioned the formation of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Japan in Indian Parliament and Japan-India Parliamentary Friendship League.
Appreciating Japan’s role in India’s economic transformation, Harivansh said there is immense untapped scope for Japanese companies to participate in different sectors of the Indian economy, particularly in flagship initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India and Smart Cities. He also referred to Japan’s support for key infrastructure projects such as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway project, Dedicated Freight Corridor and Delhi Metro.
He also wished all success to Japan in holding a number of important events in 2019 including the G-20 Summit.
Rajya Sabha member Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was present during the meeting, praised Japan’s contribution in India’s economic development and suggested that Upper Houses of the Parliament of the two countries sign an agreement to strengthen parliamentary cooperation.
The delegation led by Chuichi Date appreciated the friendly relationship between the two countries and expressed the hope that such visits would strengthen the existing bonds.
He also extended the invitation to Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu to visit Japan. (PTI)