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National
Japan to invest 3.5 trillion yen to India over next five years
02-09-2014

TOKIYO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the “expansionist” ideas of the 18th century are still visible in the world — some countries “encroach” on others, some “enter the seas”, and some “capture other’s territory”.

While he did not name China, the reference to “encroachment” and “entry into the seas” is being interpreted as a reference to China’s spats with Japan over the Senkaku Islands. While there was no agreement on the civilian nuclear cooperation, the two sides noted the “significant progress” and asked their officials to “further accelerate” the negotiations with a view to conclude the agreement at an early date.

“Today, we see all around what happened in the 18th century. There is expansionism visible… kisi desh mein encroachment karna, kahin samundar mein ghus jaana, kabhi kisi desh ke andar ja kar kabza karna, in cheezon ki pravriti chal rahi hai (encroaching on some country, entering the seas somewhere, capturing the territory of a country, we see such trends),” he said, addressing a gathering of Japanese and Indian industrialists at a lunch meeting.

“This expansionism cannot be beneficial for mankind in the 21st century. Development is essential and I believe that in the 21st century, if Asia is to lead the world, India and Japan should together raise the prestige of the path of development,” he said.

Hours later, after the bilateral talks with Modi at the Akasaka Palace, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his country’s intention to invest 3.5 trillion yen (Rs 2.1 lakh crore) in India over the next five years.

This largescale funding, which will be both public and private, will be invested on the rejuvenation of Ganga, smart cities, transport systems, skill development and next generation infrastructure among other projects. Abe and Modi also agreed to set a target to double Japan’s FDI and the number of Japanese companies in India within five years as part of the “Japan-India investment promotion partnership”.

Addressing the industrialists, Modi promised single-window clearances and speedy, non-discriminatory decision-making, while reminding them of their Gujarat experience. “I have decided to set up a Japan-plus special management team directly under the PMO to facilitate proposals from Japan. I also propose that you nominate two people from Japan who would be part of a team which looks into business proposals, and they can be a permanent part of our decision-making process,” he said.