Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
25-October-2010 20:10 IST
PM's banquet speech at dinner hosted by Prime Minister of Japan
Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speech at the dinner hosted by Prime Minister of Japan:

I am delighted to be back in your wonderful country after a gap of two years. I wish to thank Prime Minister Kan, the Government and the people of Japan for the exceptional courtesies and warm hospitality extended to me, my wife and to members of my delegation.

In my interactions with you since our first meeting in Toronto I have been touched by your deep personal interest in strengthening the foundations of our Strategic and Global Partnership. I admire your leadership, commitment and vision for a better future for our two peoples and for an enhanced partnership.

India and Japan have historical and civilizational old ties. Our relations have been marked by mutual goodwill, amity and respect. This legacy has remained unbroken into the modern era, which has seen our bonds strengthen based on our shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Today, our economic complementarities, strategic interests and common aspirations for Asian economic integration make us natural partners. Indeed, we have a mutual stake in each other's progress and prosperity.

What sets our relations apart from others is that we rejoice in each other’s success. Our relations with Japan enjoy a national consensus in India. We wish to see Japan as a prosperous engine of growth for the world economy and the centre of technological excellence. The people of India remain ever grateful for the generous development assistance that Japan has provided to India over the years.

I would like to thank you for the productive discussions that we have had this evening. These reinforce my belief that the sky is the limit for expanding cooperation and friendship between us. We invite Japan to participate in the revival of the ancient seat of learning at the Nalanda University.

As the Asian century unfolds, we must stand together in our determination to bring peace, stability and economic advancement to our respective peoples, to the region and to the world at large.

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to join me in raising a toast to:

- The health and well-being of His Excellency the Prime Minister of Japan and Madame Kan;

- The prosperity and progress of our friendly peoples; and to

- The India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership.

Thank you.