Abe to view India’s military, nuclear might at R-Day parade

New Delhi, Jan 23: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose country is against nuclear weapons after suffering the horrific effects of the atomic bombing nearly 70 years ago, would be treated to a glimpse of India’s military and nuclear might at the Republic Day parade on Jan 26.

Abe, had at an event to mark the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima last August, vowed to realize a nuclear-weapons free world.

A Japanese media person asked India’s external affairs ministry Thursday whether the Japanese premier and people would not “get some kind of bad feeling” at the sight of an array of India’s nuclear prowess.

A trifle nonplussed, Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary (East Asia) in the ministry of external affairs, answered that the Republic Day parade is a military-cum-civilian parade, and “not purely a military parade”. He said the parade shows off India’s social and cultural aspect too.

Bambawale said to have a Japanese premier be the chief guest of the parade after so many years is an honour and “we are delighted he has accepted the invite at a time not completely convenient, when Diet is in session”.

Abe, who arrives on Jan 25, would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that day and hold restricted as well as delegation level talks. The prime minister would host a banquet for him.

On Jan 26, after attending the parade in the morning, Abe would meet business leaders in the evening before departing on Jan 27.

The India-Japan civil nuclear agreement is unlikely to be ready for inking during Abe’s visit. Both sides are still in negotiations on the issue, he said, adding the subject is of “great sensitivity”.

IANS