Modi’s Japan Visit Heralds a New Era of Indo-Japanese Economic Cooperation

Modi’s Japan Visit Heralds a New Era of Indo-Japanese Economic Cooperation

Indian PM Narendra Modi’s historic 5-day visit to Japan is widely thought to give a major boost to the economic and political ties between the two Asian giants. On the third day of this strategically important visit, Modi met his counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo and discussed a number of issues with a view to achieve increased cooperation in the areas of defence, trade and infrastructure development. Earlier in the day, he was presented a guard of honour and greeted to a ceremonial welcome at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo.

In a joint statement, Modi stressed that Japan holds special significance for India and every effort must be made to enhance the strategic and global partnership between the two nations. Indian PM also stated that Indian and Japan need to work together in an effort to champion the cause of development as opposed to expansionism. Analysts suggested that the hint at expansionism was intended as a message for China, which has been actively engaged in territorial and sea border disputes with India for a while.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe said in an official statement that Japan plans to invest 35 billion dollars in the next 5 years for development of infrastructure and smart cities in India. He evinced special interest in Modi’s pet project to launch bullet trains in India and assured of Japanese cooperation in the project. He also assured to double the FDI in India over a period of 5 years. A deal was also signed between the two countries for joint production of certain rare earth materials used in electronics.

As far as the nuclear energy pact is concerned, nothing concrete could be achieved during the visit but an assurance was made to speed up the talks in this direction. However, Japan decided to lift a ban on six Indian entities including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. This would help them engage with Japanese firms on several levels, including transfer of technology.

An MoU was signed in the field of defence for increased cooperation in the form of exchanges and exercises. The Tokyo Declaration laid stress that the two countries would make an effort to engage in defence exchanges at both bilateral and multilateral levels and recognized the significance of transfer of defence equipment and technology. The declaration also stated that Japan will continue to engage in bilateral maritime exercises with India in future. Progress was also made in seeking cooperation with regard to US-2 amphibian aircraft and its technology.