Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan held wide-ranging discussions on ways to push the strategic cooperation to a higher level with both agreeing that it was beneficial for the two countries.
In a statement to media after the talks, Kan said: "We agreed to speed up negotiations for civil nuclear energy cooperation, while seeking India's understanding of our country's sentiment" as a nation which faced nuclear bomb attack.
Singh, who earlier in the day said that he will not "force" Japan on the nuclear agreement because of its sensitivity, said, "Civil nuclear energy can be another mutually beneficial area of our cooperation."
Earlier in the day, Singh invited Japanese firms to participate in expansion of India's nuclear industry. "We would hope that Japan will be India's partner in expansion of its civil nuclear industry for peaceful purposes. But I do recognise the sensitivity of the subject in Japan and will not therefore force the issue," he told a business luncheon meeting here.
After the extended delegation-level talks, the two leaders officially endorsed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The negotiations for the CEPA began in 2007 and the agreement could not be signed today as Japan needs to complete certain internal processes, like clearance from its Parliament (Diet) which will take some time.
After the talks, Kan said through the meeting, the two countries were able to confirm and "be confident about progress in the strategic global partnership between Japan and India".
"We signed a joint statement confirming the conclusion of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and India," he said.
Singh described the conclusion of talks on the CEPA as a "historic achievement" which would open up new business opportunities.
The two leaders also agreed to cooperate in various fields and discussed the situation in Afghanistan and ways to combat climate change and push for UN reforms.
Singh said Indian appreciates the Japanese Government's decision to cooperate with the country on civil nuclear energy.
A joint statement said the two leaders "encouraged" their negotiators to arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement for civil nuclear cooperation at an early date. On the CEPA, the Prime Minister said: "Our two governments have concluded negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. It is a historic achievement that signals economic alignment of two of the largest economies of Asia."
He said the new agreement will open up new business opportunities and lead to quantum increase in trade. Singh said the two countries have agreed to enhance their cooperation, both bilaterally and within the G-4, in the reform of the United Nations, and especially of the Security Council.
"We will continue to work together on global issues such as climate change, the Doha round of trade negotiations and the G-20," he said in his remarks. Singh said he suggested to his counterpart Kan that the two countries redouble their efforts in progressing major infrastructure projects in India such as the Dedicated Freight Corridor project and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project.
"Both these are proceeding on schedule and will have a transformational impact on our two economies," the Prime Minister said.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed ways to expand High Technology Trade between India and Japan.
"I hope that Japan will make its export control regulations for such trade easier and predictable... I also conveyed our satisfaction with the High-Level Energy Dialogue between our countries through which we are partnering in the development and utilisation of new and renewable energy sources," Singh said.
Singh and Kan reviewed the implementation of the Action Plan on Security Cooperation signed last December and discussed the possibility of further deepening the strategic partnership.
The two countries also discussed the ways to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Japan "in a befitting manner including through expanded people-to-people exchanges, especially amongst our youth."
Singh said he has invited Prime Minister Kan to visit India next year for the Indo-Japan Annual Summit.