Tokyo: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe pledged to realize the full potential of India - Japan Strategic and Global Partnership for continuing progress and prosperity for their people and for advancing peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world. Elevating the relationship to a Special Strategic and Global Partnership, they called their meeting the dawn of a new era in India - Japan relations.
The two Prime Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, irrespective of their perpetrators, origin and motivations. They emphasised that the evolving character of terrorism called for stronger international partnership in combating terrorism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence. They shared concern over deteriorating security situation in various countries, and affirmed, in this regard, the importance of elimination of terrorist safe havens and infrastructure. They also called for reinvigorating multilateral action on terrorism, including through the finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations at the earliest.
The two Prime Ministers affirmed the urgent need for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, especially its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories, to make it more representative, legitimate, effective and responsive to the realities of the 21st century. They called for concrete outcome in this direction by the 70th anniversary of the UN in 2015 and decided to enhance efforts bilaterally and under the G-4 to realize this. In this regard, they decided to strengthen their bilateral cooperation and outreach with other member states. They also highlighted the outcome of the third round of India-Japan consultations on UN issues held in Tokyo in July 2014.
The two Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in the four international export control regimes: Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, with the aim of strengthening the international non-proliferation efforts.
The two Prime Ministers announced the India–Japan Investment Promotion Partnership under which:
a) The two Prime Ministers decided to set a target of doubling Japan’s foreign direct investment and the number of Japanese companies in India within five years as an objective to be jointly achieved. They also decided to work closely towards further expanding bilateral trade relationship to the next stage.
b) Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to realize 3.5 trillion yen of public and private investment and financing from Japan, including Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), to India in five years, to finance appropriate public and private projects of mutual interest including in the areas of next generation infrastructure, connectivity, transport systems, Smart Cities, rejuvenation of Ganga and other rivers, manufacturing, clean energy, skill development, water security, food processing and agro industry, agricultural cold chain, and rural development. In this connection, Prime Minister Abe pledged ODA loan of 50 billion yen to India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) for a public-private partnership infrastructure project in India.
c) The two Prime Ministers welcomed the public-private initiatives between the two countries to set up Electronics Industrial Parks in India. They also shared the intention to develop "Japan Industrial Townships” and other industrial townships with investment incentives for companies would not be lower than under the prevailing policy framework such as Special Economic Zone (SEZ), National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ).
d) The two Prime Ministers directed their officials to work out an appropriate mix of financing mechanisms, including public-private partnership, and terms for utilization of public funds, taking into account the nature of the projects, developmental priorities, procurement policies, level of industrial and technological capacities and skills available locally. They decided to explore ways to enhance Japanese and Indian participation in appropriate infrastructure projects in India.
e) Prime Minister Modi underlined his determination to further improve the business environment in India, including through tax, administrative and financial regulations, in order to boost investment. The two Prime Ministers decided to further deepen bilateral economic and financial cooperation. Prime Minister Abe welcomed the approval to establish Mizuho Bank`s Ahmedabad branch.
Lauding Prime Minister Modi`s vision for development of world class infrastructure in India, including High Speed Railway system, Prime Minister Abe expressed his hope that India could introduce Shinkansen system for the Ahmedabad – Mumbai route. Prime Minister Abe expressed his readiness to provide financial, technical and operational support to introduce Shinkansen system, for which Prime Minister Modi expressed his appreciation. The two Prime Ministers look forward to the completion of the Joint Feasibility Study on High Speed Railway system on Ahmedabad – Mumbai route.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the progress in the ongoing flagship projects of India-Japan economic partnership, such as the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) and committed to accelerate their implementation. Prime Minister Modi invited Japanese investments in the development of new smart cities and industrial parks along these corridors. Appreciating Japan’s contribution to the development of urban mass rapid transport system in India, Prime Minister Modi sought Japan’s association with Ahmedabad Metro Project. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s willingness to support the project in a mutually beneficial manner.
India and Japan would explore a higher level of strategic collaboration in the global oil and natural gas market, including through joint procurement of LNG, upstream development of oil and gas, and joint efforts to promote flexible LNG markets, including through relaxation of destination clauses. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed enhanced cooperation on utilizing highly efficient and environmentally-friendly coal-fired power generation technology and progress on cooperation in Clean Coal Technology (CCT). The two Prime Ministers welcomed substantial agreement on a commercial contract for manufacturing and supply of rare earth chlorides from India to Japan and affirmed their strong resolution for the finalization of commercial contract as well as the commencement of commercial production at the earliest.
The two Prime Ministers decided to spur cooperation, in particular, in the cutting-edge fields such as life sciences including stem cell research, material science, cognitive science, applied mathematics, computing and information science, ocean technology and ocean observations, clean and renewable energy, water technology, climate change science and outer space. They recognized the importance to launch joint laboratories in India and Japan. They welcomed the growing collaboration between their research agencies and laboratories, and attached priority to expanding research exchanges, in particular, between their young scientists and students.
Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Modi’s Digital India initiative. The two Prime Ministers affirmed the importance of collaboration in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) through ICT Comprehensive Cooperation Framework. Prime Minister Abe invited India to participate in the ‘Sport for Tomorrow’ programme. Prime Minister Modi welcomed this proposal. The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the growing educational and research partnership, including in humanities and social sciences - from the revival of Nalanda University, the ancient seat of learning, to addressing tomorrow`s challenges through the establishment of Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), and the Indian Institute of Informational Technology, Design and Manufacturing in Jabalpur (IIITDM-J), cutting-edge institutions of the 21st century. They decided to make efforts to substantially increase the number of exchange students between India and Japan as well as to enhance Japanese language education in India.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the launch of cooperation in the field of healthcare. They appreciated the growing cooperation in the field of women empowerment. Prime Minister Abe accepted Prime Minister Modi`s invitation to visit India for the next Annual Summit in 2015.
Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.