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¥220 billion in aid set for India infrastructure

Kyodo

India has agreed to a plan in which Japan will provide ¥220 billion in aid to build new infrastructure in the South Asian country.

At a meeting Tuesday in Tokyo, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Indian counterpart, Salman Khurshid, also agreed to promote cooperation in ensuring maritime safety and security through joint exercises, while enhancing a bilateral political dialogue and a trilateral discussion involving Japan, the United States and India, Kishida told reporters.

The aid will be part of Japan’s multifaceted efforts to strengthen cooperation with India as China exercises greater military and economic clout.

“We hope to deepen and develop a strategic and global partnership (with India) by building a close cooperative relationship,” Kishida said at the outset of his meeting with Khurshid.

The yen-denominated loan package totaling ¥220.46 billion consists of four projects, including a freight railway project connecting New Delhi and Mumbai, and a subway project in southern India.

Separately, Japan decided to provide India with loans of ¥71 billion for the construction of an underground railway in Mumbai, Kishida said, adding that the foreign ministers also agreed to advance cooperation on a high-speed railway project.

They agreed to promote negotiations on a bilateral civilian nuclear energy cooperation pact, he said.

Khurshid praised Japan’s handling of the Senkaku territorial dispute with China, saying Tokyo’s emphasis on dialogue was an example of mature diplomacy, according to a Japanese official.

Kishida said that while China’s increasingly robust maritime activities are a common concern to the region, Japan intends to engage China in dialogue from a “big-picture” perspective.