The Japanese government on Monday expressed its desire to build stronger ties with India, with talks reportedly under way to arrange a visit to Japan by Indian Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi in his first official foreign tour following his election win.
"We would like to extend our sincere congratulations," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference in reference to the results of the general election in India, which were learnt Friday.
While declining to confirm some media reports on Modi's possible visit to Japan for a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the top government spokesman said the premier-elect is "very friendly toward Japan," adding, "We expect to further deepen our political and economic relations" with India.
Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is in talks with Japanese officials over the possible trip to Tokyo, diplomatic sources close to the bilateral relations told Kyodo News on Saturday.
Negotiations are under way between the two countries for a potential civil nuclear accord that would enable Japanese manufacturers to export reactors to India. Abe aims to increase the shipment of large infrastructure, also including rapid train systems, to emerging economies.
Japan and India are also committed to strengthening their maritime security cooperation, apparently in consideration of the increasing assertiveness of China.
Abe visited India in January and held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who tendered his resignation on Saturday following his Congress party's defeat in the election.