India and Japan have opened a new chapter in their bilateral partnership by sealing a pact on civil nuclear energy, and taking a slew of steps to upgrade their economic partnership. The two countries signed an agreement on a bullet train network between Mumbai and Ahmadabad, apart from enhancing cooperation in security, infrastructure, technology and education.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will open a new age in the India-Japan partnership.
With the focus on a stronger bilateral strategic partnership, India and Japan reiterated their commitment to realise a peaceful, open, equitable, stable and rule-based order in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. The two leaders decided to develop a comprehensive and concrete medium and long-term action plan to realise the objectives of the joint statement entitled, “India and Japan Vision 2025: Special Strategic and Global Partnership Working Together for Peace and Prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region and the World’.
Nuclear deal, defence pacts
The civil nuclear deal is not just about commerce and clean energy but also a sign of mutual confidence and partnership for a secure world, Mr Abe and Mr Modi said. “No friend will matter more in realising India’s economic dreams than Japan. We have made enormous progress in economic cooperation as also in our regional partnership and security cooperation,” Mr Modi after signing the deal. India and Japan reached an agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear Eeergy, and confirmed that this agreement will be signed after the technical details are finalised, including those related to the necessary internal procedures.
India and Japan also concluded the agreement concerning the ‘Transfer of the Defence Equipment and Technology’ and the agreement concerning ‘Security Measures for the Protection of Classified Military Information’, which strengthens the foundation of the strategic ties. India and Japan will explore potential future projects on defence equipment and technology cooperation such as US-2 amphibian aircraft.
The two sides welcomed Japan’s participation in the Malabar exercises as they agreed to seek closer cooperation with other countries in the region such as the trilateral dialogues with Australia and US. These dialogue mechanisms could contribute to regional efforts to evolve an open, inclusive, stable and transparent economic, political and security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region.
Infrastructure: Make in India
Seeking to bolster India’s ‘Act East Policy’, the two-countries pledged to advance industrial networks and regional value chains with open, fair and transparent business environment in the region, while recognising the importance of enhancing their cooperation and coordination bilaterally and with other stakeholders to realise this strategic initiative.
India and Japan signed a memoranda on technological cooperation and R&D collaboration in the railways sector. The introduction of Japan’s High Speed Railways (HSR) technologies (the Shinkansen system) in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route was welcomed by Mr Modi, who appreciated Japan’s consideration of providing highly concessional yen loan for the HSR on Mumbai-Ahmedabad route.
The two sides agreed to take the Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) project to the next stage of concrete implementation, including by utilising ODA loan schemes and other facility measures. India hopes to attract USD 5.5 billion of investment and other support.
India and Japan expressed hope that the total commitment of Japanese ODA yen loan to India in FY 2015 may reach around 400 billion yen, which will be the highest ever provided to India.
Some of the other areas that the two sides focused on included an agreement on Amendment Protocol of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, enhanced partnership between Indian states and cities with Japanese prefectures and cities, strengthening ‘Make in India,’ Japanese Industrial Townships, Regional security in Indo-Pacific region, collaboration in energy sector, universities and academic institutions to further expand cooperation.
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