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2011.09.29 (Thu) Print

Visit to India by JINF Delegation and Japanese Lawmakers

 A delegation from Japan Institute for National Fundamentals (JINF), together with a supra-partisan group of Japanese lawmakers, visited India from September 19 to 23, 2011, stopping at New Delhi and Dharamsala, a city in northern India where the Tibetan government in exile is seated.
In New Delhi, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a speech on September 20 at a joint seminar organized by JINF and Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), a major think tank, calling for the Japanese and Indian navies to strengthen their ties. This speech drew widespread attention as it was reported by several Indian newspapers, including The Indian Express, The Times of India and The Pioneer, and news agency Press Trust of India (the text of the speech is available at “Former PM Abe’s Speech in New Delhi” in the “News” section).
 In Dharamsala, the JINF delegation and Japanese lawmakers met with the Dalai Lama, the supreme leader of the Tibetan Buddhism, and leaders of the Tibetan government in exile, including Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay, who took office only in August, and Dicki Chhoyang, the Minister of Information and International Relations, and agreed with them on the importance of universal values pursued by the Tibetan people, such as freedom and human rights. The visit to Dharamsala was joined by JINF President Yoshiko Sakurai and other JINF officials and two Japanese lawmakers ― Hakubun Shimomura, a member of the House of Representatives, and Eriko Yamatani, a member of the House of Councillors ― both of whom belong to the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
 Before that, former Prime Minister Abe and other Japanese lawmakers met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on September 20 and exchanged views with him on such issues as the threat posed by China’s continued military buildup. In the meeting, the Japanese lawmakers and Prime Minister Singh basically agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation between the Japanese and Indian navies. Prime Minister Singh called on the Japanese side to push forward negotiations over Japan-India nuclear cooperation, which have stalled due to the impact of the Fukushima nuclear power station accident.
 On September 22, former Prime Minister Abe held a one-on-one meeting with Rahul Gandhi, who is a next-generation leader of India and now serves as General Secretary of the Indian National Congress, the country’s ruling party.
In New Delhi, the JINF delegation and the group of Japanese lawmakers also met with Lal Krishna Advani, Chairman of the opposition BJP Parliamentary Party, on September 20 and with Defence Minister A.K. Antony on September 21. On the evening of September 21, they attended a dinner hosted by Ashwani Kumar, the Minister of State for Planning, Science and Technology. Moreover, they exchanged views with Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the Center for Policy Research who is one of the most prominent strategists in India, and Jayadeva Ranade, a former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, on how to deal with China, among other issues.
 The JINF delegation also visited the headquarters of Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) in New Delhi and agreed with VIF to conduct a joint study on Japan-India security cooperation and draw up a joint proposal by the spring of 2013.
The participants in the visit to India were as follows:
 Lawmakers: Shinzo Abe (LDP, House of Representatives); Katsunobu Kato (LDP, House of Representatives); Takashi Nagao (Democratic Party of Japan , House of Representatives); Seiichi Eto (LDP, House of Councillors)*; Hakubun Shimomura (LDP, House of Representatives); Eriko Yamatani (LDP, House of Councillors)
*Abe, Kato, Nagao and Eto visited only New Delhi.
JINF officials: Yoshiko Sakurai (President); Tadae Takubo (Vice President); Hironobu Ishikawa; Yoichi Shimada; Yasushi Tomiyama**
**Ishikawa, Shimada and Tomiyama are Planning Committee Members.
Photographer: Keishi Asaoka