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Summary of the Commemorative Seminar by Indian Parliamentarians
"A New Possibility for India-Japan Relations- From the Viewpoint of Energy Issues -"


As part of its 'India Japan Strategic Dialogue Project', the Sasakawa Peace Foundation held a commemorative lecture in Tokyo on October 16 entitled 'New possibilities in Japan-India relations - from the viewpoint of energy issues'. In this project, for the first time since the regime change in India in June, five Indian parliamentarians currently in office were invited to Japan. During the delegation's visit, the leader of the delegation and member of the Indian People's Party in the Indian parliament Tarun Vijay gave a lecture. Shoichi Ito, Manager and Senior Analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, was invited to serve as moderator.

Mr. Vijay spoke on the energy situation in India, and the possibility of cooperation in the energy sector between Japan and India. He began by stressing that India is already the fourth largest energy consumer in the world, and predications indicate that primary energy demand is to double by 2030, hence cooperation in the field of energy is going to be necessary for the country. Then, after introducing examples of dialogues on energy at the intergovernmental and private-sector level, he touched upon his hopes for cutting edge Japanese technologies, including clean coal, renewable energy technologies such as high efficiency solar power generation and private, peaceful use of nuclear energy, before moving on to the importance of comprehensive, strategic cooperation between India and Japan. Given the highly technological nature of the energy topic, a recurring theme throughout Mr. Vijay's speech was that although many opportunities exist for contact between Japan and India with regard to individual technological efforts, it is important that in the background of these technological cooperations there is trust between India, a resource-rich nation, and Japan, a nation that is already well advanced in terms of technology.

The moderator of the discussion, Mr. Ito, as an expert on energy policy, highlighted the issues relevant to further cooperation in the energy field between Japan and India. First, he strongly suggested that Japan's experience of energy conservation following the oil shock could play a very important role in adressing the gap between supply and demand for energy in India, which is expanding at an accelerating pace. In addition, he described his hope that India would become a model for the rest of the world in the area of peaceful use of nuclear technology, also as regards India's relationship with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. From the perspective of security of energy, Mr. Ito also touched upon the importance of sea lanes from the Middle East to East Asia, suggesting a multi-country framework including not just Japan and India but also other countries.

Related Links
   India Japan Strategic Dialogue Project
   The Lecture Video - A Commemorative Seminar by Indian Parliamentarians