India and Japan agreement on energy/telecomm will have great impact on India's growing economy

01/27/2014 - 00:00

India and Japan have signed agreements on cooperation in areas including energy and telecommunications during the visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to New Delhi, the countries said over the weekend.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India held talks with Mr. Abe on Saturday and said that India was taking steps to facilitate Japan’s links with India’s growing economy.

Mr. Singh said that India was also discussing with Japan the possibility of buying an amphibious aircraft called the US-2 and co-producing it in India.

“More broadly, we are working toward increasing our cooperation in the area of advanced technologies,” he said.

Mr. Abe arrived in New Delhi on Saturday for a three-day visit. He was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on Sunday.

Japan is eager to increase exports of atomic technology to help revive its economy.

“Our negotiations toward an agreement for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy have gained momentum in the last few months,” Mr. Singh said Saturday.

Japan’s sales of nuclear equipment and technology to India have been hampered by sensitivity in Japan over India’s atomic tests and refusal to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

India has announced a moratorium on further nuclear testing, but Japan also wants a clearer commitment from New Delhi.

India is seeking to cultivate closer ties with Japan and other Asian countries while upgrading its military capabilities, partly in response to a perceived challenge from China and also neighboring Pakistan.

Under the agreements, Japan will provide a loan to increase power generation in India and help India enhance energy efficiency in the telecommunication towers in the country.

Japan offered loans for the New Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor project and for high-speed rail systems in India, the two countries said in a news release.

Japan agreed to lend $113 million for reconstruction work in a northern Indian state devastated by floods last year, $14.6 million to a children’s hospital in southern India and nearly $2 billion for the expansion of New Delhi’s Metro train services, the statement said.

The countries signed another agreement for promoting tourism.

The two also agreed to hold regular consultations between their national security councils on security issues. India invited Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force to participate in the India-United States naval exercises this year off India’s western coast, according to a joint statement issued after the official talks.