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India, Japan Initiate High-level Dialogue

Indian and Japanese governments decided on Friday to launch a high-level strategic dialogue, upgrade economic links and enhance energy, security and defence cooperation.

After a wide-ranging talk on a series of issues, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his visiting Japanese counterpart Junichiro Koizumi signed a joint statement on Friday evening outlining an updated vision of the India-Japan global partnership.

The document, captioned India-Japan Partnership in the New Asian Era: Strategic Orientation of India-Japan Global Partnership, lays down an eight-point initiative envisaging enhanced and upgraded dialogue architecture, comprehensive economic engagement, enhanced security dialogue and initiatives in science and technology, cultural and academic fields, people to people contacts and cooperation in the UN and other international organizations.

At the meeting between the two prime ministers, it was agreed that Japan would provide assistance to India for large-scale projects in infrastructure sector, Press Trust of India quoted official sources as saying.

A major project they agreed to examine is a high-speed computerized freight train between Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

This will be part of the railway golden quadrilateral which will run parallel to the existing road golden quadrilateral, the sources said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2005)

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