India wants stronger strategic ties with Japan: Khurshid

Tokyo, March 26 : India wants to further strengthen and expand its strategic partnership with Japan, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Tuesday.

"My government looks forward to further strengthening and expanding the India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership," an official statement quoted Khurshid as telling media persons after meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida here.

Khurshid is on a two-day visit to Tokyo - his first official visit as external affairs minister.

He said he also discussed the possibility of an annual summit between the prime ministers of India and Japan in the coming months and will discuss regional and global issues with his Japanese counterpart.

"Foreign Minister Kishida and I have just had excellent discussions on the entire range of bilateral issues in our relations. We will continue our discussions on regional and global issues," said Khurshid.

The meeting forms part of the 7th India-Japan Strategic Dialogue.

Noting the security cooperation between the two countries was proceeding well, Khurshid said the Japanese defence minister was expected to visit India later this year.

"Earlier this year, we received the chief of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force and Japanese defence minister is expected to visit us later this year," he said.

The 1st Maritime Affairs Dialogue between India and Japan was held in New Delhi in January this year.

According to Khurshid, "the two largest democracies of Asia agreed to expand cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region" and will "coordinate their actions more closely within the East Asia Summit process".

He also said he has invited Kishida to visit India soon.

--IANS (Posted on 26-03-2013)

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