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PM Japan visit off but Cambodia's on

Posted on Nov 14, 09:53PM | UNI

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's scheduled three-day visit to Tokyo for the annual India-Japan Summit that was to begin tomorrow has been deferred following announcement of elections in that country.

However, Dr Singh's visit to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the 21st ASEAN Summit and 7th East Asia Summit(EAS) from November 18 to November 20 is on, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here today.

"There were some domestic developments in the last few hours, because of which the Prime Minister's visit has been postponed," the spokesperson said.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda today announced he would dissolve the lower house of Parliament on Friday for snap polls on December 16, media reports from Tokyo said.

Mr Akbaruddin said the November 15-18 India-Japan Summit would be rescheduled at a mutually convenient date to be fixed through diplomatic channels.

The Prime Minister was to leave for Tokyo tomorrow and from there he was to fly to Phnom Penh to take part in the 21st ASEAN and 7th East Asia summits from November 18 to 20.

Now, he would go straight to Cambodia which is hosting the Summit of the ten-nation bloc of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) which groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The annual event from November 18 to 20 is being held at the Peace Palace in the capital of Cambodia.

The two Summits will be participated in by all ASEAN leaders and ASEAN's dialogue country leaders including the Indian Prime Minister, Cambodia government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told the media in Phnom Penh yesterday.

It is a moot point if Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who is also a dialogue country leader, will attend the Summits in view of the announcement of elections in that country.

Newly re-elected US President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key are scheduled to attend the Summits, Mr Kanharith told reporters.

Besides, heads of the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation are also attending the Summits.