15:20 GMT30 July 2021
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    India’s attempts to expedite infrastructure development in regions close to China and Myanmar will get a major boost as Japan has officially offered support for various ongoing as well as upcoming development and infrastructure projects in the country’s north-eastern region.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Japan has informed India about its willingness to partner at different levels in infrastructure projects. Tokyo, however, has not evinced its interest in Arunachal Pradesh — a region which China considers it South Tibet and a part of its territory.

    “The north-eastern region of India has immense potential and with the kind of priority being given to the region by the Government of India and the Government of Japan looks forward to engaging itself as a partner at different levels, both financially and otherwise,” Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, said after a long meeting with India’s Minister for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh. According to Hiramatsu, the preferred states which the Government of Japan looks forward to investing in the northeast are Assam, followed by Manipur and Nagaland.

    Japan is expected to fund roads, bridges and developing inland waterways in the region. “Japanese partnership could also be utilized in the recent initiative of developing inland waterways transport along river Brahmaputra down to the Bay of Bengal as well as supplementing the venture fund announced by DoNER Ministry for start-ups in the northeast,” Jitendra Singh said.

    Japan has stepped up engagement in development projects in North-East India in recent years after the Narendra Modi government asserted itself in the region to counter China. The northeastern region is a key part of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ that aims to develop regions that lack infrastructure and to build partnerships with key states in the Asia-Pacific. Japan has a historic link with the region because it was in the area around Manipur and Nagaland that during World War II, around 30,000 Japanese soldiers had been killed while fighting the British Army and other allied forces.

    Japan’s foreign direct investment in India was more than $4.2 billion in the first half of the last fiscal year, compared to $2.6 billion in the previous fiscal year. The official development assistance from Japan to India amounted to $3.4 billion in the last fiscal year.


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