India’s Modi gets $35-billion pledges from Japan

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Narendra Modi late Monday extracted a pledge of nearly $35 billion in Japanese investment and financing over the next five years for infrastructure projects, like smart cities and the cleaning of the Ganga.

But on the key civilian nuclear deal for Japan to supply com-ponents to reactors, the Indians had to be content with a promise to further accelerate talks with a view to clinching an agreement soon.

“Today, we have discussed this issue at length. We have reached better understanding of each other’s positions through this discussion,” Modi told a news conference, referring to the N-deal, after the two sides signed a range of agreements in areas like health, women’s development, and clean energy.

They also upgraded their relationship to a “special strategic global partnership.”


“Our relationship is not only regional in its framework, but will have a global impact . . . we will forge a partnership for development in other regions and interested countries across the world,” said Modi.

Analysts said the investment figure was impressive but ex-pressed disappointment over the nuclear deal not happening.

“The economic side was always going to be the easier one to address, but there’s no denying that $7 billion a year is a substantial result and needs to be applauded,” said former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal.

“I personally feel the Japanese side has missed an important opportunity to finalize the nuclear deal—it would have implied that Japan has decided to treat the India as an equal in strategic terms,” he said.

Getting around $7 billion in investment and financing is significant given that total foreign direct investment in 2013 to 2014 from Japan was $1.4 billion, and total FDI inflow from all coun-tries was $24 billion.

Modi and his Japanese coun-terpart Shinzo Abe set a target of doubling Japan’s foreign direct investment and the number of Japanese companies in India within five years, and Japan agreed to remove restrictions on six of India’s space and defense-related indus-tries.

MCT

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