Tokyo is interested in launching collaborative infrastructure enhancement projects abroad with India, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s top officials (JICA). Chief Representative of JICA India Saito Mitsunori emphasized the potential for cooperation in India’s immediate neighborhood. He concluded by saying that joint planning, design, and implementation of infrastructure projects in countries like Nepal, where each nation has previously adopted programs, could help New Delhi and Tokyo maximize their effect.
This idea is set against a background of heightened geopolitical rivalry in South Asia. Beijing has been able to increase its influence in the area by using infrastructural resources thanks to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. However, claims of “debt-entice diplomacy” have hampered Chinese investment. The four-kingdom Quad is currently a running organization on infrastructure as a result of the growing diplomatic competition in the area.
Japan’s efforts were directed at Yangon port, while India built the Sittwe port in Myanmar. Japan has also been active in the region around India by helping Bangladesh build the Matabari port. The upgrading of Matabari Port, according to Mint, is a crucial factor in Japan’s view of the importance of local financial linkages. The port will enable Indian businesses to establish a presence in Southeast Asia. There have long been plans for India and Japan to collaborate on international infrastructure projects. As a collaborative Indo-Japanese vision for enhancing connectivity and trade in Africa, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) was announced in 2017. According to several accounts, there hasn’t been much progress made on that front.
According to Saito, India’s expertise in building virtual infrastructure might supplement Japan’s expertise in hard infrastructure. He claims that India’s less advanced and less priced virtual products are in line with the needs of developing nations, particularly those in Southeast Asia. Improvements to the infrastructure in Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and East Africa were actively pursued by Japanese businesses and public zone organizations. Saito stated that although Japan is ready to collaborate with reputable organizations like JICA, there have been no substantive conversations with the Indian authorities regarding novel international endeavors.
In response to a question on possible Indian involvement in Japan’s infrastructure-building projects in Southeast Asia, Saito said that an Indian presence was welcome. He asserted that India hasn’t shown any signs of having a hobby, though. He said that non-profit Japanese production companies supported by JICA usually take on foreign infrastructure projects.
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