PM leaves for Japan, China
Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves
on a two-nation tour Tuesday that will take him first to Japan
on a bilateral visit and then China to attend the seventh
Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit.
his trip to Japan, Manmohan Singh will hold talks with the
country's new Prime Minister Taro Aso on political and economic
ties, including a free trade deal, with an aim to expand bilateral
two sides may not be able to sign the Free Trade Area (FTA)
pact, known in Japan as Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
as talks have been bogged down largely on how much to reduce
tariffs and what goals to set on investment, said a foreign
and Japan will sign a joint statement and another pact on
The document on security issues will cover enhanced bilateral
interaction between the armed forces of the two countries.
which has a well-developed civil nuclear industry, backed
India in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), though reluctantly, due to
strong domestic sensitivities on the issue.
will also meet Emperor Akihito during his three-day visit.
the second leg of his five-day visit, Prime Minister Singh
will be attending the ASEM summit in Beijing Oct 24-25, which
is the first time that India has been invited into this grouping.
will also be the first multilateral meeting that Manmohan
Singh will be attending after the inking of India's historic
nuclear pacts with the US and France.
was in the last ASEM Summit at Helsinki in 2006 that a decision
was taken to induct India, Mongolia and Pakistan into the
in 1996, ASEM's invitees include China, Japan, South Korea,
India, Mongolia, Pakistan, the 10 nations of the Association
of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Secretariat,
the 27 nations of the European Union, and the European Commission.
summit will focus on expanding dialogue and cooperation between
Asia and Europe on a wide range of global issues ranging from
terrorism and security issues to multilateral trade, climate
change and nuclear non-proliferation.
Singh will also be holding bilateral talks with China's President
Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the ASEM
summit, official sources said.