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New Delhi Correspondent
India and Japan on Monday decided to take up collaborative projects in Bangladesh enhancing connectivity by way of four-laning of road and reconstruction of bridges on the Ramgarh to Baraiyarhat stretch and providing rolling stock and constructing the Jamuna railway bridge over Jamuna river.
The two countries also agreed to expedite implementation of Meghalaya’s connectivity to the border with Bangladesh through 1 Tura (Meghalaya)-Dalu (Bangladesh) and Shillong-Dawki roads.
Japan and India reaffirmed their intentions to go ahead with the completion of Gelephu (India)-Dalu corridor in collaboration with the ADB.
The two countries also agreed to cooperate for development efforts in Myanmar’s Rakhine province, from where millions of Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh and are awaiting repatriation, by collaborating in housing, education and electrification projects.
Japan and India also agreed on enhancing connectivity within North East region of India and with its neighbouring countries.
These decisions were taken at the summit-level talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, now on an official visit to Japan, and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.
The decisions were contained in a lengthy “Vision Statement” issued after talks between Modi and Abe. A copy of the Vision Statement was made available here.
The Statement outlines the roadmap India and Japan have prepared for their collaboration in building infrastructure and enhancing capacity-building in the Indo-Pacific region, including South Asia, and Africa, in a move many consider as aimed at countering China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The two countries agreed to work towards establishing an India-Japan Business Platform to enhance the exchanges between Indian and Japanese businesses toward developing industrial corridors and industrial network in the region, according to the statement.
In this context, the two countries welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding between NEXI and ECGC, which is expected to promote development of concrete India-Japan business projects in the region.
The Vision Statement said India and Japan believe that their development cooperation in the Indo-Pacific can contribute to unlocking the potential for an equitable, positive and forward-looking change in the Indo-Pacific region and contribute to socio-economic development of Africa.
“India and Japan committed to working together to promote peace, stability and prosperity, through economic growth and development in the Indo-Pacific, including Africa, by enhancing connectivity through quality infrastructure and capacity building of our partners,” it added.
Both the countries are of firm belief that all development cooperation must be carried out in an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner and based on international standards including respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, responsible debt financing practices, and in alignment with local economic and development strategies and priorities, the Vision Statement said in a veiled reference to China’s BRI which has sparked controversies in some small countries in Asia and Africa for plunging them into “debt trap.”
The two countries will cooperate in development of LNG-related infrastructure in Sri Lanka.