India Reaffirms Japan as Key Economic and Political Partner

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DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met last week in a celebration of bilateral ties between the two nations during India’s Republic Day celebrations. PM Abe made his visit to New Delhi at the behest of the Indian government after being nominated as the festivity’s honorary Chief Guest.

Speaking on the occasion, PM Singh praised recent joint economic and political efforts between India and Japan to strengthen security and economic stability in the region, saying Abe’s visit “exemplified the momentum in [their] strategic and global partnership.”

“Japan is at the heart of India’s Look East Policy. It is also a key partner in our economic development and in our quest for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia and the world,” said PM Singh during a media address following Abe’s visit to India. “Anchored in our shared values and interests, the partnership between a strong and economically resurgent Japan and a transforming and rapidly growing India can be an effective force of good for the region,” he further commented.

India’s Look East Policy, which was initiated in the 1990’s by Manmohan Singh, then Treasury Secretary of India, aims to bolster economic ties between India and its neighboring Asian nations, with a special focus on leveraging bilateral relations with Japan.

During his visit, PM Abe took the opportunity to further negotiations with India on several key initiatives, including the Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, which will address mutual concerns about the safe and responsible use of nuclear energy sources.

The two sides also agreed to increase cooperation in the development of advanced technologies and proposed several infrastructure projects designed to increase connectivity between the Asian nations.

PM Singh expressed interest in continued cooperation with Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Official Development Assistance program, which has helped fund several successful joint-development projects, such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

During his speech, PM Singh noted a 16 percent increase in Japanese business activity in India and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to continued cooperation with business leaders in Japan.

“I believe there is enormous untapped potential in our business ties. I therefore sought increased Japanese investments in India. We explored ideas for concrete cooperation in manufacturing and R&D in the electronics sector as well as in energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies,” commented Singh.

The Japan External Trade Organization reports that Japanese investment into India over the last eight years has amounted to nearly US$16 billion, including foreign direct investment and governmental support.

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Further Reading

India Strengthens Ties With Asia-Pacific Nations

Asia Experts See Positive Future for India, with China’s Help

Japan to Help India Boost its Manufacturing, Trade and Investment