Abe promises stronger India — Japan economic ties

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated that his country’s economic engagement with India is going to be stronger with his visit. Abe is making a historic visit in India where many projects with Japanese partnership are going to be finalized.

The Japanese leader is expected to finalize a deal to construct Bullet train network between Mumbai and Ahmadabad by providing money and technology. Indications are that Japan is extending a soft loan for fifty years to India with an interest rate of 0.5%.

Japan’s engagement with India is symbolic and strategic as well. Recently, the China has inaugurated a rail network across Karakoram ranges in Pakistan to link Chinese mainland to the Arabian seas. Similarly China is constructing a bullet train network in UK as well.

With Chinese offered investment projects slow to take off in India, Japan is emerging as a strategic and economic partner for India. The considerable level of synergy between New Delhi and Tokyo on political front may reinforce Japanese economic engagement in India.

Another expected Japanese tie up is in atomic energy. Japan was very strong in objecting India’s nuclear test in 1998. But India’s commitment and history in nonproliferation has ended Japan’s concerns on nuclear issues. A final agreement on civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries is expected during Abe’s presence.

There are a number of business and trade pacts on the launch pad. Industry cooperation including the establishment of industry parks and the development of Kyoto’s partner city – Varnasi are on the agenda of the Japanese’ PM’s visit.