Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Ties between India and Japan have entered a new phase of resurgence and there is tremendous scope for global partnerships, K.V. Kesavan, visiting professor, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, and Kobe Gakuin University, Japan, said here on Wednesday.

The year 2007 marked the 55th year of the start of Indo-Japanese relations and the year of Indo-Japan friendship. Relations had expanded at a rapid pace in areas such as defence and maritime security, he said during a lecture on `Changing perceptions on Indo-Japan relations,' organised by the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

There was a lot of enthusiasm in Japan about India's buoyant economy as it was believed that if the present pace of economic reforms continued, India would become an economic superpower and a key player in shaping Asia's destiny. Collaborations among India, China and Japan could contribute to a change in the balance of power equations in the region, he added.

Japan's new diplomatic policy included concepts such as value-oriented diplomacy, which would enable it to help Eurasian countries, Yoshiaki Kodaki, Consul-General of Japan in Chennai, said.

A joint statement by the Prime Ministers of Japan and India pledged to strengthen the bilateral relations . Japanese businesses also realised the importance of India as an emerging global economy.

The University of Madras entered into a memorandum of understanding with Kyoto University on disaster management studies and the extremely proficient models of Japanese education should be modified to suit the Indian needs, S. Ramachandran, Madras University Vice-Chancellor, said.

R. Veeramani, chamber president, spoke.