New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida Saturday held strategic dialogue during which they discussed key issues of trade and security as the visiting leader termed India as "the most promising destination" for investment.
During their marathon meeting, which lasted for nearly four hours, the two leaders agreed to further strengthen relations in accordance with the Special Strategic and Global Partnership and decided to pursue discussions on civil nuclear cooperation, official sources said. The civil nuclear negotiations are stuck due to reservations on the part of Japan.
The leaders also reviewed the progress on the US-2 Amphibian Aircraft, a joint production venture, during the meeting which was held for the first time with a restricted session which lasted for 45 minutes, the sources said.
The ministers were later joined by a multi-Ministry delegation which included officials from commerce ministry.
Emphasising that Japan was a key partner in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' Initiative, Swaraj welcomed the spurt of about 15 per cent in Japanese companies coming to India during the course of last year.
"She highlighted the special arrangements for Japanese companies and banks under the Japan plus initiative started following Modi's successful visit to Japan last year," the sources said.
On his part, Kishida said India was considered to be an important partner by his government as was reflected by his early visit here after the recent elections in Japan.
"He informed that India is now viewed as the most promising destination by Japanese companies and hoped that Abenomics & Modinomics would work together to achieve the goals of doubling Japanese investments assistance to India as announced during PM Modi's visit to Tokyo," the sources said.
Various infrastructural projects including the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and the High Speed rail between Ahmedabad and Mumbai were discussed during the meeting, which considered possible projects with
Japanese support in North East India and linkages with ASEAN.
They agreed to have an early meeting in 2015 of the two plus two Dialogue mechanism (Foreign Secretary & Defence Secretary) which had last met in 2012.