India should aim for meaningful relations with Japan PM Hatoyama: Fernandes

      With international relations steadily becoming significant former Defence Minister and Rajya Sabha member George Fernandes has said the Government of India should build meaningful relations with Japan’s new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. Writing in the latest issue of OtherSide, Fernandes has mentioned that India can build meaningful relations with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama. “India can develop a truly meaningful relationship with Prime Minister Hatoyama although I also learned that his Foreign Minister is considerably pro-China. Perhaps we can turn this into an opportunity of a good China-Japan-India relationship which I had discussed with many friends during my many visits to Japan. Eastern civilization and culture have much to offer the world if we forget for a short time the ugly part of geo-politics and power games.” Fernandes reminisced how after terrorist attacks on the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly building and the Indian Parliament and with the complicity of Pakistan was coming into evidence, it was felt that as the Leader of Opposition (and the Head of the Democratic Party of Japan) Yukio Hatoyama should also visit India The then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also apprised of his likely visit. But it was decided to convince him not to visit neighbouring Pakistan, as is the usual practice of anyone visiting South Asia. Even as some of his men had begun talking about a visit to Pakistan, Hatoyama graciously agreed to India’s suggestion and avoided that trip. Fernandes also welcomed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Govt.’s announcement to rename the NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) after Mahatma Gandhi. “ Congratulations to the government for occasionally remembering the real Gandhi,” Fernandes said in another write up for the same journal.

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