PM Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Japan in November 2016. Both Prime Ministers held wide-ranging consultations in Tokyo, during which they undertook a comprehensive review of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership as outlined in the “India and Japan Vision 2025” set forth on 12 December 2015.
The two Prime Ministers underscored the rising importance of the Indo-Pacific region as the key driver for the prosperity of the world. Prime Minister Abe appreciated Prime Minister Modi’s active engagement in the region under the “Act East Policy,” and briefed Prime Minister Modi on the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.”
They decided to seek synergy between India’s “Act East” Policy and Japan’s “Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure,” by closely coordinating, bilaterally and with other partners, for better regional integration and improved connectivity as well as industrial networks based on the principles of mutual consultation and trust.
The two Prime Ministers appreciated the successful Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi, Japan’s regular participation in the Malabar Exercise and the International Fleet Review off the coast of Vishakapatnam. They reaffirmed their desire to further deepen bilateral security and defence dialogues, through the “2+2” Dialogue, Defence Policy Dialogue, Military-to-Military Talks and Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard co-operation.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady progress made in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project, a flagship project between the two countries, through the discussion in the Joint Committee meetings held thrice in 2016.
The two Prime Ministers decided to cooperate on the human resource development in the manufacturing sector in India through “Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme.” This programme will enhance the manufacturing base of India and contribute to “Make in India” and “Skill India,” through training 30,000 persons over next 10 years with Japanese style manufacturing skills and practices through the establishment of the Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing (JIM) and the Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in engineering colleges designated by Japanese companies in India in cooperation between the public and private sectors. The first three JIMs under the Programme would start in summer 2017 in the States of Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady progress to realise 3.5 trillion yen of public and private financing to India in five years under the “Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership.” They also welcomed the progress in the projects at the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC).
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the significant contribution of Japan’s ODA in the development and modernisation of infrastructure in India. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed progress in the ODA projects in urban transportation sector such as the Chennai and Ahmedabad Metro, the Mumbai Trans Harbor Link project, and the introduction of the Intelligence Transport System along the Eastern Peripheral Highway in Delhi. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to support the upgrading of the ship-recycling yards of Alang, Bhavnagar District of Gujarat.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the provision of ODA loan to the irrigation project in Jharkhand, and the preparatory survey for forest resource management in Odisha and irrigation improvement in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan’s efforts to support the construction of a Convention Centre in Varanasi and recognised its symbolic importance as a sign of strengthening bilateral ties.
Prime Minister Abe appreciated the actions taken by Prime Minister Modi on improving the business environment in India and creating enabling environment for Japanese investments. Prime Minister Modi appreciated the initiatives by Prime Minister Abe towards establishment of Japan Industrial Townships (JITs).
Prime Minister Abe also expressed appreciation for the facilitation provided by the “Japan Plus” for the Japanese companies in India and the coordination by the “Core Group” chaired by Cabinet Secretary for the facilitation of Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership.
The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the bilateral Strategic Economic Dialogue, Financial Dialogue and meetings on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) were held successfully this year and underlined the importance of these dialogues and their subcommittees to deepen bilateral cooperation. They also welcomed the entry into force of the Agreement on Social Security in October 2016, which would reduce costs of business and further facilitate human and economic exchanges between India and Japan.
The two Prime Ministers confirmed the importance of implementing the “Japan-India Make-in-India Special Finance Facility” of up to 1.5 trillion yen by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to promote direct investment of Japanese companies in India. They welcomed the Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) between the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) to explore funding for infrastructure projects in India.
The two Prime Ministers expressed their intention to achieve an early conclusion of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.
Prime Minister Abe announced a relaxation of visa requirement for Indian students and expressed his intention to expand the number of visa application sites for Indian nationals to twenty. Prime Minister Abe thanked Prime Minister Modi for extending the Visa on Arrival facility as well as long-term ten-year visas to Japanese tourists and investors.
Prime Minister Abe briefed about Japan’s new initiative “Innovative Asia” to enhance exchange of skilled human resources in Asia. The two Prime Ministers hoped that this initiative would provide Indian students new avenues to avail of scholarship and internship opportunities and would further foster innovation.
The two Prime Ministers also underscored the importance of sharing the best practices regarding the education models, and initiatives such as SAKURA Science Plan (Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science) under which young Indian students and researchers visit Japan.
Recognising India as the largest democracy and a fast growing large economy in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan firmly supports India’s membership in the APEC. They reaffirmed to cooperate towards conclusion of modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement.
List of Agreements/MOUs signed during the visit:
Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy: The present Agreement provides for bilateral cooperation in the field of Nuclear Energy. This would provide for the development of nuclear power projects in India and thus strengthening of energy security of the country. The present agreement would open up the door for collaboration between Indian and Japanese industries in our Civil Nuclear programme.
Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on the Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Program: The above MOC envisages training 30,000 Indian youth in the Japanese styled manufacturing in the next 10 years. This would be achieved through the programmes of Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM) and the Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in select Engineering colleges. Japanese companies would be encouraged to set-up JIM by utilizing their CSR fund while JEC will be supported by Government of Japan through technical experts. Programmes under this MOC would contribute to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’.
MOU in Cooperation in the Field of Outer Space: The present MOU provides for cooperation in satellite navigation, planetary exploration and space industry promotion; joint missions and studies; joint use of ground systems for mutual support; joint workshops and training; and personnel exchange. The MOU also provides for establishing JWG and sign Implementing Arrangements to carry out specific cooperative projects.
MoU in Marine and Earth Science and Technology: The MOU aims to promote cooperation in the areas of joint survey & research; exchange of scientific visits by researchers & experts; joint scientific seminars & workshops; exchange of information, data and studied results; and any other mutually agreed forms of cooperation. Agreements for cooperation in specific activities will be taken up by concerned agencies subsequent to signing of this MOU.
MoC in the Field of Agriculture and Food Related Industry: This above MOC has been envisioned to deepen the bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture and food industries that includes food value chain networking and protecting Geographical Indication (GI) of agriculture products. The MOC is a framework document which would later provide for specific agreements between concerned agencies on both sides.
MoU for Transport and Urban Development: This Memorandum would enable cooperation between the two organizations promoting investment in infrastructure projects in railways & transportation; port terminals; toll roads; airport terminals; urban development; logistics; and any supporting industries for these sectors. Further, this MOU would also enable the two sides to explore opportunities to set up a NIIF-JOIN joint fund.
MoU in the Field of Textiles: MoU aims to improve quality of Indian Textiles for conformity assessment for Japanese market. It involves capacity building measures for the Textiles Committee and aligns the Indian Quality Control measures in line with Japanese market and technical standards.
MOC in the Field of Cultural Exchange: The present MOC seeks to promote bilateral cooperation in the field of art & culture which includes exchange of exhibitions & personnel in performing and visual arts; cooperation in preserving the cultural heritage; exchange of exhibitions and experts from museums; and to promote people-to-people exchanges. The MOC also provides for sharing of experiences in the field of libraries with a view to promote library activities in both countries.
MoC on Cooperation in Sports: The present MOC seeks to provide a framework for bilateral cooperation in the field of Sports ahead of the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics & Paralympics. Under this MOC the two sides would seek to promote training of athletes; training of coaches; programmes for sports science and anti-doping; programmes for developing sports education, sports infrastructure and management; and exchange visits of sports leaders, administrators, professionals and experts. Specific cooperative mechanism will be pursued by respective sports agencies in their specified areas of activities, subsequent to signing of this MOC.
MOU between the State Government of Gujarat and Hyogo Prefectural Government, Japan: The present MOU seeks to promote mutual cooperation between Gujarat and Hyogo in the fields of academics, business, cultural cooperation, disaster management and environmental protection. A steering committee to oversee the implementation of the MOU will also be constituted alongside identifying the agencies to carry out designated activities. Department of Industries & Mines of Government Gujarat and International Affairs Bureau of Hyogo Prefectural Government have been identified as the contact points for developing project activities under this MOU.