India, Japan to expand special strategic and global partnership
30 October 2018
India and Japan have committed themselves to working together to promote peace, stability and prosperity, through economic growth and development in the Indo-Pacific, including Africa, by enhancing connectivity through quality infrastructure and capacity building of our partners.
Both countries emphasised that all development cooperation must be carried out in an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner and based on international standards, including respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, responsible debt financing practices, and in alignment with local economic and development strategies and priorities.
By synergising India’s "Act East Policy” and Prime Minister Modi’s 10 guiding principles for India’s sustained and regular engagement with African countries, with Japan’s "Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure Initiative” and TICAD VI Nairobi declaration, the two countries welcomed and committed to further consultations with host governments to foster tangible cooperation focusing on development of connectivity and other infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific. India and Japan welcomed progress in identification of specific cooperation, including but not limited to the following:
- Cooperation in Sri Lanka, such as the development of LNG-related infrastructure;
- Cooperation in Myanmar, synergizing development efforts in the Rakhine State by collaborating in housing, education and electrification projects;
- Cooperation in Bangladesh, for enhancing connectivity by way of four-laning of road and reconstruction of bridges on the Ramgarh to Baraiyarhat stretch, and providing rolling stock and constructing the Jamuna Railway Bridge over the Januma River; and
- Cooperation in Africa, such as organising an SME development seminar in Kenya and seeking a possibility of a collaborative project in the area of health service such as developing a cancer hospital in Kenya.
The two countries also acknowledged the importance of expanding cooperation in human resource development, capacity building, healthcare, livelihood, water, sanitation and in the digital space, and of working together to extend access to education, health and other amenities, and assist the people of the Indo-Pacific, including Africa, to realize their developmental potentials.
Further, the two countries will work towards establishing an India-Japan Business Platform to enhance the exchanges between Indian and Japanese businesses toward developing industrial corridors and industrial network in the region. In this context, the two countries welcomed the memorandum of understanding between NEXI and ECGC, which is expected to promote development of concrete India-Japan business projects in the region.
Both India and Japan said their development cooperation in the Indo-Pacific can contribute to unlocking the potential for an equitable, positive and forward-looking change in the region, and contribute to socio-economic development of Africa.
India-Japan `Act East Forum’
India’s North East Region is one of the main areas of India’s Act East Policy. The region also shares historical and traditional bonds with ASEAN countries, and has the potential to be India’s springboard to the ASEAN region. Enhancing connectivity within North East Region and with its neighbouring countries is essential to tap its potential and presents crystallized examples of the shared vision between Japan and India as expressed in the Vision Statement.
The Act East Forum established last year has served as a driving force to advance India-Japan cooperation in the North-East. Its second meeting, held on 8 October decided to expediting implementation of Meghalaya North East Connectivity by fast-tracking the following projects
- Phase 1: Tura-Dalu (NH-51)
- Phase 2: Shillong-Dawki (NH-40)
- Mizoram North East Connectivity
- Phase 1 & 2: Aizawl-Tuipang (NH-54)
- Sikkim: Biodiversity Conservation & Forest Management
- Nagaland: Forest Conservation Livelihood Improvement
Japan and India reaffirmed their intentions to proceed with the completion of Gelephu-Dalu Corridor in collaboration with the ADB, including Dhubri/Phulbari bridge project, which will be the longest river bridge in India if realised, as Phase 3 of North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project.
The will also consider developing main district roads and other district roads, which will have positive socio-economic effect.
For skill development, the two countries will launch "Japan-India North East Bamboo Initiative” in view of the significance bamboo plays in the region. Industrial uses of bamboos and bamboo forest management will be pursued under this initiative, building on the successful first "North East Bamboo Workshop.
To promote Japanese language education in the North East as a part of the commitment made by the two prime ministers to establish Japanese language certificate courses at 100 higher educational institutions in India. The forum welcomed the interest for such courses expressed by cotton university and Gauhati University in Assam, EFLU in Meghalaya state as well as NIT-N in Nagaland, to which Japan is prepared to provide appropriate support through Japanese Language Teachers Training Centre. More proposals from North East states are welcome.
To promote skill training, including Japanese language for caregivers from North East who visit Japan for training under TITP (Technical Intern Training Programme) ,which contributes to enhancing cooperation between the two countries under the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative.