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Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Japan on a four day visit for cementing the ties between the second and third largest economies of Asia. Except for nuclear cooperation, agreement was reached on all the fields discussed and on return to India, Indian PM called the visit extremely successful. Some major highlights of the visit are –
- The Japanese side announced the launch of a feasibility study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of a project for setting up of a 10 MW canal-top grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Gujarat as a model for next generation infrastructure.
- Assistance in creation of new generation Smart Community projects across six states in India. The Smart Community projects include Logistics Data Bank project, the Mega Solar Power project at Neemrana and the Seawater Desalination project at Dahej.
- Signing of a Framework of Cooperation between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan in the Roads and Road Transportation Sector.
- The Indian side sought Japanese support in upgrading the ship-breaking yard at Alang Sosiya in Gujarat.
- Both sides urged and supported the Asian Development Bank to enhance its capacity to address the region’s infrastructure and connectivity needs.
- Both sides acknowledged continuing cooperation on upgrading the speed of passenger trains on the existing route to Semi-High Speed Railway system.
Energy and Natural Resource
- Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in the field of new and renewable energy.
- Agreement on the commercial contract between Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) for the production of rare earths.
Agriculture and Food
- Japanese assistance in establishing food value chain through Public-Private Partnership by introducing advanced irrigation systems and farming machines, and supporting the food industrial parks and cold chains development projects implemented by Indian government.
- Both sides decided to strengthen cooperation including the acceleration of Preparatory Survey for New Dholera International Airport Development Project.
- Both sides highly appreciated the achievements of the Champions of Societal Manufacturing (CSM) Project as a valuable Japanese contribution to the development of the manufacturing sector in India. The Indian side welcomed Japan’s intention to launch a new sub-project named Village Buddha, which aims at leadership development for self-help groups in rural areas, taking into account the important role played by women in such groups.
Information and Communication Technology
- ICT cooperation through activities of the Joint Working Group under India-Japan ICT Comprehensive Cooperation Framework between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of India and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan.
- Launch of concrete joint projects, such as Green ICT and Cyber Security Cooperation
- Both sides welcomed the study by JICA on regional connectivity between North-East India and the neighboring countries, and instructed respective related authorities to proceed to realizing Japan’s ODA in transport infrastructure projects in the region.
- Both sides decided to strengthen cooperation in the field of connectivity and socio-economic development in Northeast India.
- The Indian side welcomed the Japanese initiative to support Japanese universities’ educational collaboration with Indian Universities, and engagements including dispatching coordinators to India.
Thus, in the latest visit, both India and Japan decided to cooperate in almost every field to assist in all round development in India. Another reason behind the enhanced Indian cooperation with Japan can be seen as an attempt to nullify the clout of rising China. In a way, the recent warmth in Indo-Japan relationship is to bring balance to the regional power scenario.