Your Excellency, Prime Minister Abe,
Members of the media,
I am delighted to welcome Prime Minister Abe to India.
It is a great pleasure to host a personal friend and a great champion of India-Japan partnership.
No partner has played such a decisive role in India’s economic transformtion as Japan.
No friend will matter more in realising India’s economic dreams than Japan.
And, I cannot think of a strategic partnership that can exercise a more profound influence on shaping the course of Asia and our interlinked ocean regions more than ours.
That is why we deeply value our Special Strategic and Global Partnership”. It enjoys unmatched public goodwill and political consensus in India.
It also comes with great public expectations and huge responsibilties for us.
In the course of the past year, we have done much to live up to them.
We have made enormous progress in economic cooperation as also in our regional partnership and security cooperation.
Prime Minister Abe has been prompt and positive on our economic proposals, many of which are now unique to India. Japanese private investments are also rising sharply.
Today, we have scaled new summits in our shared journey. The Memorndum we signed on civil nuclear energy cooperation is more than just an agreement for commerce and clean energy.
It is shining symbol of a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of a peaceful and secure world.
I know the significance of this decision for Japan. And, I assure you that India deeply respects that decision and will honour our shared comitments.
No less historic is our decision to introduce High Speed Rail on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through the Japan’s Shinkansen, known for its speed, reliability and safety.
We greatly appreciate Prime Minister Abe's extraordinary package of approximatly 12 billion U.S. dollars and technical assistance, on very easy terms, for this project.
This enterprise will launch a revolution in Indian railways and speed up India’s journey into the future.
It will become an engine of economic transformation in India.
We also appreciate the sharp increase in Japanese bilateral assistance programme and the strength of public and private Japanese commitment for the Make in India mission.
In September 2014 in Tokyo Prime Minister Abe spoke of 35 billion U.S. dollars of Japanese finance and investments for India over five years.
It was ambitious. But, together we are quickly turning it into reality.
Our shared commitment to combating climate change is equally strong.
We are engaged in wide ranging collaboration in clean energy and energy efficiency technologies that will also create solutions for the benefit of others in the world.
The other agreements today reflect the depth and diversity of our cooperation.
Today, we have also taken two more decisive steps in our security cooperation. The two agreements will deepen our defence relations and promote defence manufcturing in India.
This builds on our decision to expand staff talks to all three wings of the Armed Forces and make Japan a partner in Malabar Naval Exercises.
We have also advanced our regional partnership in the course of the year. We have raised the level of our tri-lateral dialogue with the United States and launched a new one with Australia.
We will work together in East Asia Summit to promote an inclusive, balanced and open regional architecture and maritime security in the region.
We stand strongly for ensuring freedom of navigation and over-flight, and maritime commerce. We believe that disputes must be resolved peacefully and that all countries must abide by international law and norms on maritime issues.
I also appreciate Prime Minister Abe’s support for India's membership of the APEC .
We will also strive for our rightful place in a reformed UN Security Council.
Culture and people breathe life into a relationship.
Our remarkable relationship also has a wonderful human touch.
The Kyoto-Varanasi partnership is one of its strong symbols.
Last year, Prime Minister Abe hosted me in Kyoto.
Later today, I will show him the ancient heritage of Varanasi and our plans for its modern future.
Finally , in recognition of our special relationship, India will extend 'visa on arrival' to Japanese citizens including for business purpose from 1st March 2016.
This is different from the electronic visa facility that is being extended globally.
in a world of intense international engagements, few visits are truly historic or change the course of a relationship.
Your visit, Mr. Prime Minister, is one.
As we work to realise the Vision 2025 of India-Japan ties, we will advance the prosperity of our people and shape an Asian century in our vision and values.