India for building security architecture in Asia-Pacific:

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    Jan 21, 2014
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    India for building security architecture in Asia-Pacific: Menon

    Berlin: India is working with China, Japan as well as with its neighbours and friends to build a "security architecture" in the strategic Asia-Pacific region to help create an environment of development and prosperity, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon has said.

    Speaking during a panel discussion on 'Europe, America and Asia' at the 50th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Menon yesterday said that India finds itself in a situation where it can cooperate with both China and Japan.

    India has been working with China, Japan as well as with its neighbours and friends to build a "security architecture" in the Asia-Pacific region, which "functions well for all of us" and helps "create an environment in which India can further develop and prosper," he said.

    Answering a question from a participant whether India would accept Japan as a regional power in the 21st century, Menon said Japan is a sovereign state and it can decide itself what role it wants to play in the region.

    "We cannot tell Japan what kind of nation it should be or what role it should play. I am sure Japan can decide that alone," Menon said.

    Chinese delegate Fu Ying rejected any security partnership with Japan until the leadership in Tokyo admits the alleged crimes committed by the country's soldiers during the World War II.

    Fu, chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress, pointed out that the relations between her country and Japan dropped to a "low level" following the recent territorial dispute between the two countries over a group of islands in the East China Sea.

    "But the biggest problem for us is the historic denial of the war crimes" committed by Japanese soldiers during the World War II, she said.

    As long as the Japanese leadership refuses to admit the alleged crimes, no reconciliation will be possible between Japan and its neighbours nor will it be possible to "treat Japan as a constructive partner of an Asian security partnership," she said.

    Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida said that his country is concerned by the huge military expenditure and massive build up of arms by some nations in the region, an apparent reference to China.

    His country will continue to seek security cooperation with the US, which has guaranteed stability in the region.

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