April 14, 2023
With Prime Minister Modi
With Finance Minister Sitharaman
With Foreign Minister Jaishankar
Observing the activities of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers
Delhi Metro test ride
Site visit of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link
Site visit of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link
JICA President Tanaka Akihiko visited India from March 8 to 14. Last year, 2022, marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India. With Japan and India presiding over the G7 and G20 respectively this year, cooperation between the two countries has become even more important.
President Tanaka had meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, other key government officials and visited cooperative projects. President Tanaka confirmed the strengthening of ties with India—Japan's largest ODA partner.
During the meeting with Prime Minister Modi, views were exchanged on future cooperation in infrastructure sector, and both parties concurred that the Project for the Construction of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail—once agreed upon between former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Prime Minister Modi, and a symbol of the friendship between India and Japan—should be steadily implemented. They also discussed cooperation between Japan and India in education sector, with Prime Minister Modi expressing interest in Japanese-style education, university cooperation between the two countries, and encouragement for Indian students to study in Japan.
During the meeting with Finance Minister Sitharaman, the said minister expressed her appreciation for cooperation in the infrastructure sector, as well as in diverse sectors and regions including the social sector. The pair also agreed on the need to further strengthen ties between the two countries, acknowledging that India is not simply a recipient country, but a partner that can take responsibility for the completion and quality of projects.
During the meeting with Foreign Minister Jaishankar, in order to further strengthen Japan-India relations, views were exchanged on cooperation in infrastructure sector as well as Japan-India human-resource exchange in areas such as Japanese language education and Technical Intern Training. The importance of improving connectivity between the Northeast region of India and Matarbari port, Bangladesh, was also confirmed.
In addition, President Tanaka met with G20 Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant (former Chief Executive Officer of the National Institution for Transforming India [NITI Aayog]) and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and shared thoughts on the G20 meeting, progress on on-going projects, and future cooperation.
President Tanaka also observed a shiatsu massage training session at a school for the blind—a site of activity for the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs)—praising the efforts of the volunteers and the implementing organization, and expressing his hope that the activities of the volunteers will increase opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in society.
Furthermore, President Tanaka took a test ride on the Delhi Metro—a symbol of Japan-India cooperation—the realization of which Japan has been cooperating on for more than 20 years, from its initial operation to the present. He was briefed by the Managing Director of the Delhi Metro and others at the Metro Museum located in the metro station, and praised the safe and secure metro for improving the quality of life of Delhi citizens, making it easier for women to commute to work and promoting their social participation.
In Mumbai, President Tanaka visited the construction sites of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Project and the Project for the Construction of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail, both of which are expected to be completed by the end of this year. He confirmed the progress of the projects and their safety-first approach to construction, and expressed his expectations for the positive economic and social impact that the improved connectivity of the Mumbai metropolitan area will have.
JICA will continue to support infrastructure and social sector development through financial cooperation, technical cooperation, and the dispatch of JOCVs, thereby contributing to further economic and social development in India and closer Japan-India relations.