Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso met with visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Thursday in Tokyo for their first strategic dialogue, covering issues ranging from improving political, security, economic and personnel exchanges cooperation to promoting bilateral ties aiming to build a strategic partnership.
Aso and Mukherjee finalized a bilateral economic cooperation pact, which had already been under discussion. Further agreement was seen in the creation of a vice-ministerial institution of economic strategy which will bolster bilateral energy cooperation.
Japan's Jiji press agency saw the dialogue as part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's diplomatic strategy, which pushes for forging closer ties with countries having similar values of India. Prior to his meeting with Taro, Mukherjee met with Abe at the beginning of this three-day visit to Japan.
(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2007)