Japan to play a bigger role in development of NE

Japan to play a bigger role in development of NE

With the opulent pageantry and 8-km roadshow in Gujarat over, it is time to get down to brass tacks and address some of the issues in order to facilitate closer ties between India and Japan, even as the two leaders and militaries forge closer bonds.

Expressing dissatisfaction over proposed Japanese investments in India's North-East states, as mentioned in the India-Japan joint statement following bilateral talks a day earlier between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe in Gandhinagar, Beijing Friday warned that a "third-party should not meddle" in border disputes between India and China.

"You also mentioned Act East policy". Under such circumstances, the official has said, various parties should respect such aspects and any third party should not be involved in our efforts to resolve the disputes.

Hua said the boundary between India and China was yet to be delimited: "There are disputes over the eastern section of the China-India boundary".

The joint statement said, "the two Prime Ministers welcomed the India-Japan cooperation on development of India's North Eastern Region (NER) as a concrete symbol of developing synergies between India's Act East policy and Japan's Free and Open Indo Pacific Strategy".

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Asked about possible allusions to China in the joint statement, Hua said, "I have also read the Japan-India joint statement..."

About the references to Indo-Pacific, which included South China Sea in the joint statement and calls for the countries to resolve the disputes peacefully, she said the statement mentioned disputes to be resolved through dialogue. "This is China's position", she said. India's decision to partner with Japan for the 508-km, Rs. 1.1 lakh-crore project is as much about politics as it is about infrastructure: Japan has been keen to export its high-speed train technology along with rolling stock, and India's move to confirm the Japanese contracts while China wins projects along its Belt and Road railway line is significant.

"I should also add that India and Japan are important countries in Asia".

It is our sovereign right to develop the country inside our boundaries and we will utilise that right, says Amit Shah. So, I am wondering whether this is the overinterpretation of the media or just like the media's conjecture, both Japan and India have the hidden agenda.

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