Japan promises Narendra Modi $35 billion inflows, but holds out on nuclear deal

NEW DELHI/TOKYO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said Japan would play a big role in India’s transformation and development. Wrapping up his first bilateral summit with Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, the two sides glossed over the failure of the civil nuclear deal, instead focusing on the plethora of deliverables.

Japan promised $35 billion in investment and financing for Indian infrastructure for the next five years. In return, Modi promised to introduce a special mechanism like a “Japan Fast Track Channel for Japanese investors in India” to woo investment into the country.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi (second right) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) talk during their meeting at the Akasaka State Guesthouse in Tokyo, on September 1, 2014. (AP photo)

A “two-plus-two” arrangement between the two governments at the official level will be upgraded to a ministerial level, much like Japan’s arrangement with the US.

Japan to remove curbs on space, defence entities

Japan has also removed six Indian space and defence entities from the “foreign end users list”, which will help defence technology cooperation. A much awaited agreement on India buying the US-2 amphibian aircraft was completed. A joint statement said both sides would work on building the US-2 in India “including transfer of the aircraft and its technology” to India.

Sources said this would help both Japan and India to work together to even export the aircraft to third countries. For India, this would be the beginning of a defence aircraft industry here.

“Japan’s decision to remove several Indian entities from the ‘foreign end users list’, our MoU on defence exchanges and our intention to work out an agreement for collaboration on defence technologies reflect the new level of mutual trust and commitment to deepen our strategic partnership in all dimensions,” Modi said.

Addressing Japanese businessmen, the PM took a swipe at China, albeit without naming the country. “There are 18th-century-style ways and thinking that involve expanding (geographically) by taking away the land of another nation and going into seas,” he said. “If Asia is to become the leader in the 21st century, Japan and India should lead and promote a path of peaceful development,” he said.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a business luncheon hosted by Japan Business Federation in Tokyo on September 1, 2014. (PTI photo)

Addressing a joint press briefing with Abe, Modi said, “In recent months, we have made significant progress in our negotiations on civil nuclear cooperation. Today, we have discussed this issue at length. We have reached better understanding of each other’s positions through this discussion. We have agreed to instruct our negotiators to work expeditiously to conclude the negotiations at an early date so that we can further strengthen our strategic partnership.”

Abe commended India’s efforts in the field of non-proliferation including the affirmation that goods and technologies transferred from Japan would not be used for delivery systems for WMD (weapons of mass destruction).

“We intend to give a new thrust and direction to our defence cooperation, including collaboration in defence technology and equipment, given our shared interest in peace and stability and maritime security. We have also decided to expand our cooperation in advanced technology, science and technology, people-to-people exchanges, educational exchanges, etc,” Modi said at the joint press briefing with Abe.

 

PM Modi in Japan

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a five-day visit to Japan on Saturday, a day that saw the inking of a partnership agreement between Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and Kyoto, which was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years. (REUTERS photo)
 
 
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