India-Japan relations should move beyond India, Japan: Rijiju

New Delhi [India], Feb 13 : Asserting that India-Japan relations still have not yet reached the potential, Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju on Monday said that it should move "beyond India and Japan".

Delivering the keynote address at the international seminar on "Indo-Pacific Region: Converging India-Japan Interests", organised by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) here today, Rijiju said the relations should move beyond Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

"We should work for the betterment and stabilisation of the whole world," he said, adding India-Japan friendship is for the whole world, and not just for India and Japan," he added.

Rijiju said both countries have to be strong and work as a stabiliser, adding that without India and Japan maintaining "stability in the region is difficult".

The Minister reiterated that the Indian Government, under the Prime Ministership of Narendra Modi is following an "inclusive approach", liking to take all countries along.

"We don't believe in exclusive policies," he said. He said both Prime Minister Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are working closely to take the relationship to a new level and to make India's policy more effective.

"The Prime Minister has changed 'Look East Policy' to 'Act East Policy'," he added. Noting that 'Made in Japan' brand is one of the strongest in the world, Rijiju said Japan and India can work together to get its 'Make in India' programme similar trust.

Describing the conference "a timely" one, Japanese Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu said Indo-Pacific region has become a regular centre of focus and stressed the need for Japan and India to work closely with the United States, pointing out that U.S.-Japan relation is the cornerstone in Indo-Pacific region.

The ambassador described Abe's two-day visit to U.S. and his talks with President Donald Trump and other officials as a good beginning. He said Indo-Pacific region has great potential but also face challenges. Japan and India and like-minded countries should work closely to meet the challenges and achieve the potential.

The ambassador said Japan is working closely with the Indian government to improve connectivity in the region and within the country - in the north east.

Delivering keynote address, India's Deputy National Security Advisor Arvind Gupta said Japan and India should discuss through dialogues the various connectivity projects in the region as it "impinges on sovereignty".

Suggesting ways to take the India-Japan relations closer, Gupta said Japan can be a partner in all of India's flagship programmes.

Other areas he suggested are developing a good programme for cyber cooperation and energy cooperation.

Prof. K.V. Kesavan, Distinguished Fellow, ORF, underlined the need for India and Japan to work closer and take the relationship higher.

Singapore's Ambassador at Large, Mr Bilahari Kausikan, said it is only a matter of time now that when Japan would become a nuclear power, considering the changing geo-political situation and changing trends.

HK Dua, Adviser, ORF and a former Member of Parliament, ambassador and editor, chaired the inauguration session of the day-long conference which had sessions on 'Geo-strategy in the Indo-Pacific', 'Maritime security in the Indo-Pacific' and 'Connectivity and economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific'.

Experts and scholars from Australia, Singapore, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Japan and India spoke at the sessions.

Source: ANI