August 13, 2021
New Delhi, August 13, 2021: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) celebrates the 75th Independence Day of India. Over the decades, India has made remarkable development in every sector and is playing significant role in global society now. Most recently the success of its athletes at the Tokyo Olympics is quite commendable. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) congratulates all Indian athletes for overcoming hardships brought in due to the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging victorious against all odds.
India is the largest development partner of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan. Japan's ODA to India started in 1958 as the first recipient of Japanese ODA loan in the world. Since then, over 6,566 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 4,37,742 Crore) in ODA loans have been committed to India for more than 300 public projects across various sectors. In addition to ODA loans, JICA have partnered with various institutions and agencies in India for technical cooperation projects, private sector partnerships, as well as dispatch of volunteers from Japan to India.
While this year marks 75 years of India's Independence, it continues to battle against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, like the rest of the world. JICA extends heartfelt condolences to everyone who lost their loved ones to Covid-19 and reiterates its commitment for continuous support toward India for its swift recovery from this difficult period.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Matsumoto Katsuo, Chief Representative, JICA India, said, "It is with the great pleasure that we congratulate India on 75 glorious years of Independence. India's development makes a great impact on global society not only in achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) but also in maintaining global stability and prosperity. India and Japan have agreed to collaborate on various projects and the relationship between the two nations will continue to strengthen in the years to come. We share common values such as democracy, freedom, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. Our close ties can provide good influence to tackle global challenges such as the pandemic and climate change. We will further strengthen bilateral economic cooperation with India toward 2022, which would mark the 70th anniversary of Japan and India's diplomatic relations."
One good example of Indo-Japanese partnership and transforming Indian society are the metro projects. JICA has supported large scale metro projects in six metropolitan cities in India with an aim to realize the Government's vision of making transportation in India swift, modern, reliable, and environment-friendly by reducing traffic congestion, easing travel and mitigating pollution. There are many value added features included in the projects such as punctuality, travelling etiquettes, respecting fellow travelers and a separate coach for women for ensuring their safety.
Another example of great Indo-Japan cooperation is in the forestry sector. JICA commenced its support to the Forestry & Natural Resource Management (NRM) sector in India in 1991 with a project in Rajasthan. Since then, for over a period of three decades JICA has extended its support to more than 30 projects covering 15 states. Through the cooperation, there has been an increase in the forest cover, apart from positive hydrological impact, community participation, promoted gender empowerment, creation of community assets through project interventions & inter-sectoral linkages, and capacity development of related people and organizations.
Additionally, JICA has been implementing many projects to support India's development journey, as a powerful and vital ally. Such projects includes Northeast region development in accordance with the Government of India's Act East Policy, symbolic railway projects of Dedicated Freight Corridor and High Speed Railway, and building Renewable energy system, a total of 12.5 GW.
The Covid-19 pandemic has generated severe economic stresses. While this time may be marked by increased instability, India and Japan's growing convergence on strategic and economic concerns has the potential to form a more peaceful, safe, and sustainable world. JICA has further expressed its intention to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of economic cooperation marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India in the year 2022.
Established, by a specific law, as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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