India assures full co-operation to Japanese companies willing to invest
Giving a big boost to the economic ties between the two countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said Japan will invest nearly Rs.3.2 lakh crores or five trillion yen (42 billion dollars) in the next five years in India. Modi also said the economic partnership between the two countries has seen progress and Japan is one of the largest investors in India. He assured all co-operation to Japanese companies willing to invest in the country adding the two countries are working as ‘One team-One project‘ on Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor.
The announcement of a 42 billion dollar investment package came after his summit-level talks with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The two countries reiterated their commitment to further strengthen economic, strategic, and cultural ties besides the QUAD grouping to ensure rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region. Detailing the joint meeting of Indo-Japan top officials, Modi tweeted:
Boosting business linkages with Japan. Watch. https://t.co/XwUcS08DoN
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 19, 2022
This was the 14th Annual Summit between the Prime Ministers of the two countries. Moreover, it is the first visit of the Japanese Prime Minister abroad since assuming charge in October last year. With China adopting an offensive posture in the Indo-Pacific, the South China Sea, and continuing tension for the last two years at the border in Ladakh, both the Prime Ministers discussed China.
According to diplomats, Japan was apprised of the situation in Ladakh, the attempts of amassing the troops, and talks with China on border-related issues. Japanese Prime Minister also briefed Modi on his own perspective vis-a-vis the East and the South China Sea.
“We made it clear that unless we have a resolution of the border issues with peace and tranquility, we could not consider the relationship (with China) to be business as usual; normalcy would depend on the progress in issues we’re discussing,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla later said.
Incidentally, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is likely to visit India on March 24 or 25 and hold talks on early resolution of the tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). He may also flag his country’s concerns over the QUAD combine. Addressing the India-Japan Economic Forum along with Kishida, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said prosperity and partnership are the basis of India-Japan relations. “We are committed to providing all possible support to Japanese companies in India,” he added.
The two sides inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the field of cyber security, capacity building, information sharing and cooperation after the talks. Japan is currently supporting India’s urban infrastructure development as well as a high-speed railway based on Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train technology. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2014 announced 3.5 trillion yen in investment and financing over five years during a visit to India.
Modi and Kishida held detailed discussions on bilateral ties, situations in the Indo-Pacific where China has adopted an aggressive posture, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Japan will host the next in-person meeting of the QUAD heads of state later this year. The first such high-profile event was held last year in September in Washington. The QUAD comprises India, the US, Japan, and Australia. Modi will hold virtual talks with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Monday. They are also likely to focus on the Indo-Pacific and the QUAD during the parleys.
In the backdrop of the Ukraine conflict, Kishida said “the whole world has been shaken today due to many disturbances, it’s very important for India and Japan to have a close partnership. We expressed our views, talked about the serious invasion of Russia into Ukraine. We need a peaceful solution on the basis of international law.” On QUAD, the Japanese Prime Minister said both the countries should step up efforts for an “open and free Indo-Pacific.” Japan, along with India, will keep trying to end the war and keep providing support to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, he said.
Modi said India and Japan understand the importance of a secure, trusted, predictable, and stable energy supply. This is essential to achieve sustainable economic growth and to deal with climate change. The previous India-Japan Annual Summit took place in October 2018 between Modi and the then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The summit could not be held in 2019 due to protests over the amended citizenship law in Guwahati and 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Japan.
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