Tokyo: Japan on Saturday assured India of moving ahead with joint civil nuclear cooperation in the course of the fifth bilateral Strategic Dialogue, which covers discussions on key areas, including defence and trade. On its part, Delhi expressed appreciation of the Japanese move to remove seven Indian entities from the banned list, allowing movement on bilateral high-technology trade.
In an unusual gesture, Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda received Indian external affairs minister SM Krishna at his residence and termed India ''a great friend'' of Japan. He also said he was looking forward to his visit to Delhi in December and spoke in favour of further encouraging economic ties.
''I am confident of further increase in trade and investment between the two countries,'' the prime minister said.
Bilateral matters were discussed between Krishna, and his Japanese counterpart, Koichiro Gemba.
''I also discussed with foreign minister Gemba the status of civil nuclear cooperation between our countries...We have had three rounds of negotiations on this subject. After my discussions today, I am optimistic on this score,'' Krishna said.
Noting that Japan had removed seven Indian entities from its Foreign End User List this year, Krishna said this would boost high-technology trade between the two countries.