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Japanand India commit to Economic Partnership Agreement (IJCEPA)

Signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the Republic of India (IJCEPA) and Meeting between Mr. Seiji Maehara, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Mr. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India:

1. 1. On February 16, Mr. Seiji Maehara, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and H.E. Mr. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the Republic of India (IJCEPA) in Tokyo.

2. Following the signing of the IJCEPA, Minister Maehara held a meeting with Minister Sharma. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

(1) Minister Maehara expressed his pleasure at the signing of the IJCEPA and stated that its prompt entry into force as well as the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India in 2012 would provide an opportunity to further strengthen their bilateral relations. Minister Maehara also expressed his intention to cooperate with India on development of rare earths, and reaffirmed Japan's commitment to the steady implementation of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and realization of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, stating that Japan seeks to contribute to India's development.

(2) Minister Sharma responded that India attaches importance to the Joint Statement agreed at the Japan-India Summit Meeting in October 2010 and that he expected the two countries to play a significant role in regional and global affairs. Minister Sharma expected that the entry into force of the IJCEPA would lead to expansion of bilateral investment and trade, with the latter being doubled over the next three to four years. Minister Sharma also expressed his intention to make use of Japan's technology and experience to promote bilateral cooperation, including on the DMIC.

(3) Minister Maehara responded that Japan seeks to further enhance bilateral relations, including through more frequent ministerial-level visits.

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