Today marks a milestone in the India-Japan partnership.

On this day, exactly 70 years ago, Japan and India established diplomatic relations. Since 1952, both countries have worked closely with one another to build strong economic, trade and cultural ties. As the relationship continues to prosper, India and Japan are actively engaging with one another to build a stronger relationship for the future.

A spiritual connection

“Although our two countries are geographically distant, we share a spiritual bond,” said Koji Sato, director-general of the Japan Foundation’s office in New Delhi. “Not only limited to Buddhism, we also love each other’s contemporary cultures. Recent developments regarding economic and business relationships have been adding actuality to the strong spiritual bond. We believe that we can complement each other by sharing Japan’s effective management style and technology with India’s entrepreneurship and individuals’ high capabilities.”

An important moment

As Japan continues to invest in India, both the Japanese and Indian business communities are benefiting from this strengthening of economic ties.

“Most Japanese companies invested in India come from the manufacturing sector with 70% active in the automotive industry,” explained Yasuyuki Murahashi, chief director-general of the Japan External Trade Organization’s  India office.

“We can see diversification of Japanese investment into India’s service, electronic and food sectors, and digital transformation and innovation has been an increasingly important focus for JETRO in India. This is a key moment for India-Japan relations and we are planning a series of business events to encourage more cross-border investments and collaborations. We expect a continuous increase in economic traffic from Japan to India in the future. There is a lot of interest from Japanese companies to support India’s energy transformation, which is aligned with the goal of ensuring that half of the country’s future energy mix comes from renewable sources. This is a very exciting time for India-Japan relations. We are planning a series of business events to encourage more cross-border investments and collaborations, and we expect this year to kick off a continuous increase of economic traffic from Japan to India.”

Higher-level relationship

Mitsunori Saito, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency  in India, explained what the future holds for the India-Japan partnership and JICA’s contribution to the subcontinent.

“JICA has been supporting India’s economic and social development for decades. India was the first recipient of Japan’s official development assistance in 1958, and since then we have forged strong relations with the people and government of India. Today, India continues to be JICA’s most significant overall partner around the world.”

“The transport sector is the most visible area of our cooperation with India, showcased by the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail, the Delhi-Mumbai Dedicated Freight Corridor and metro rail projects in big cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Ahmedabad.”

“JICA has provided nearly $3 billion to the region in support of developmental projects, mostly for inter and intraregional connectivity. Our support in the health sector has also been growing since the outbreak of COVID-19, as we support the government of India’s efforts, by extending emergency loans and providing medical equipment. We are committed to provide our support and hope that we can raise the India-Japan relationship to an even higher level.”