Japan Saturday announced 200 billion yen ($1.95 bn) in new loans for extension of the Delhi Metro and two other projects as visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks here on boosting economic and strategic cooperation here. Both sides inked eight agreements, including on boosting tourism.
Abe, who is also the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations Sunday, also announced step up loans for “symbolic projects” of bilateral cooperation including the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor and for a high-speed rail project.
On the civil nuclear agreement, Abe said both sides have agreed to continue talks for “early conclusion of the agreement”. To promote people to people contacts, Japan also announced short term multiple entry visas for Indians and to promote educational and academia exchanges.
Manmohan Singh, describing Japan as at the “heart of India’s Look East policy, said Japan has been a ready partner in India’s economic development and in our quest for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia and the world”.
He said their negotiations towards an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation have gained momentum. Manmohan Singh said the Joint Working Group on the US-2 amphibian aircraft has met to explore the modalities of cooperation on its use and co-production in India. Both sides are also working towards increasing cooperation in the area of advanced technologies.
He said Japan is a “privileged partner” in India’s most ambitious projects for world class infrastructure, – the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, IIT Hyderabad and the planned Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor.
“We took stock of these flagship projects. I apprised Prime Minister Abe of the steps we have taken to facilitate Japan’s association with India’s growth story in general and these projects in particular. In these projects and in many others, Japan’s Overseas Development Assistance has played a transformative role,” he said.