India-Japan relations, which have expanded and broadened in recent years, continue to undergo a significant and qualitative shift. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh paid an official visit to Japan on 22-23 October 2008 for the Annual India- Japan Summit meeting. The two Prime Ministers signed a Joint Statement on the Advancement of the Strategic & Global Partnership between India and Japan and a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. The 2nd Strategic Dialogue between the Foreign Ministers was held in August 2008 when the Foreign Minister of Japan visited India. Ministerial level dialogues were also held on economic and trade matters and on energy.
India was the largest recipient of Japanese Official Development Assistance (Yen 236.047 billion or Rs. 11,802.4 crores approximately) in the financial year 2008-09. Steady progress was made on the flagship projects jointly initiated by the two countries. On the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor Project, the Japanese side has agreed to provide financial assistance of approximately 450 billion Yen as a loan for the Phase-I, and have expressed their commitment to work with India for early finalization of the assistance for the entire Western Freight Corridor. On the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor initiative, the two sides have held meetings of the Joint Task Force to finalize the contours of the project. We have an annual calendar for defence exchanges. The two sides have also continued to discuss a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, with the objective of concluding a mutually beneficial and high quality agreement. Both sides are also engaged in discussions and Japanese assistance for a new IIT at Hyderabad. Defence and functional exchanges have also emerged as an important area for bilateral cooperation.