December 2, 2014
JICA President Akihiko Tanaka, second from left, debates at the international meeting "Regional Integration in the Indo-Pacific: Prospects and Challenges."
JICA President Akihiko Tanaka visited New Delhi from Nov. 23 to 26, held talks with Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, India's minister of Railways and the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and attended an international meeting to discuss prospects and challenges in regional integration of the Indo-Pacific region.
Through these activities, building on the joint declaration made at the Indo-Japanese summit in September 2014, Tanaka advanced the effort to strengthen Japan's relationship with India, which is an important ODA partner country, possessing the second-largest population in the world and the third-largest economy in Asia.
On Nov. 26, Tanaka held separate talks with Prabhu and Singh.
In his talks with Prabhu, Tanaka said JICA will carry out the Joint Feasibility Study for Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway Corridor, which is underway, and that Japan is ready to provide financial, technical and operational assistance through the policies of the Japanese government should India adopt Japan's Shinkansen (bullet train) system. Prabhu welcomed those policies regarding high-speed rail and said he would like to set up a special task force to move forward with concrete discussions with the Japanese side.
And in his talks with Singh, the former prime minster expressed his appreciation for Japan's many years of assistance and said India's relationship of friendship and cooperation with Japan is supported by a consensus view that goes beyond political parties. In response, Tanaka announced that JICA intends to continue carrying out initiatives for the social and economic development of India together with the Indian people.
During this visit to India, Tanaka participated in the international meeting "Regional Integration in the Indo-Pacific: Prospects and Challenges," hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, a well-known Indian think tank, and served as moderator and panelist in two out of the six sessions.
At the meeting, Tanaka pointed out the importance of responding to three common Indo-Pacific regional issues: 1. developing infrastructure to create inland, trans-border, trans-oceanic corridors; 2. stability and peace building in the Indo-Pacific region and surrounding regions; and 3. responding to natural disasters. He then explained JICA's initiatives on those issues. Many participants responded positively to JICA's initiatives.