TOKYO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday deplored the “expansionist” tendency among some countries which “encroach” upon seas of others, in oblique comments against China which is having a maritime dispute with Japan.
“The whole world accepts that the 21st century will belong to Asia. But I have a question. How should the 21st century be? We have to give an answer to this. It will depend on how deep and progressive our relationship (between India and Japan) is,” he said addressing business leaders of India and Japan here.
“The 21st century is Asia’s century, the world has accepted it. The question is – how will it be? There are two ways – one of ‘Vistarvaad’ (expansionism) and the other of ‘Vikasvaad’ (development). We see around us the forces of expansionism. Development is the way ahead,” he said.
The comments were seen to reflect Mr Modi’s bid to prioritise India’s strategic vision in reference to cooperation with Japan.
The two countries are likely to agree on a “two-plus-two” security consultative framework involving their foreign and defence ministers. Japan has a similar framework with the US, Australia, Russia and France.
Reports said Indian and Japanese negotiators worked till late on Sunday to work out details of a civil nuclear deal.
“I see in the recent changes in Japan’s defence export policies and regulations a possibility to engage in a new era of cooperation in high-end defence technology and equipment,” Mr Modi had told the Japanese media before the visit.
India and Japan are also expected to sign a deal on joint production of rare earth materials.
Viewing business fraternity as a “big driving force” for peace and progress, he said said India wants to play a role for benefit of humanity.