| GEO World|
| India, Japan ink declaration on security cooperation|
| Updated at: 0057 PST, Thursday, October 23, 2008|
TOKYO: India and Japan on Wednesday inked a landmark joint declaration on security cooperation but immediately assured China that their enhanced ties were not aimed at it or any other country.
Economic partnership and security cooperation between India and Japan "are not at the cost of any third country, least of all China," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso.
"I have explained on several occasions both in India as well as in China and abroad that I sincerely believe that there is no competition between India and China. The world offers enormous scope for both our countries to realise their development ambitions.
"So there is no question of our economic partnership with Japan being at the expense of any other third country, least of all China," Singh said here on the eve of his visit to Beijing to attend the 7th ASEM Summit from October 24.
Aso also tried to downplay the 'China factor', saying "we do not have any assumptions as targeting a third country, including China."
Earlier, Singh and Aso inked the Joint Declaration on enhanced security cooperation between India and Japan, saying their ties were rooted in their similar perceptions of the evolving environment in the region and the world at large.
The two sides stressed common commitment to democracy, open society, human rights and the rule of law and pointed out their deep respect for each other's contribution in promoting peace, stability and development in Asia and beyond.
Recognising that India and Japan are partners with a mutual stake in each other's progress and prosperity, the joint declaration said "a strong and prosperous India is in the interest of Japan and a strong and prosperous Japan is in the interest of India."