New Delhi: India is an obvious, essential, and the most reliable partner for Japan to work with and the country places it at the center of its Indo-Pacific strategy, Japanese envoy to India Kenji Hiramastsu said on Wednesday.
Referring to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India in September, and his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Hiramatsu said the strategic dialogue between the two leaders on regional and global issues was becoming increasingly deep and substantial.
“India is an obvious, essential, and the most reliable partner for Japan to work with, in coping with the challenges that the world faces today. Japan places India at the center of its Indo-Pacific strategy,” the ambassador said.
Mr Hiramatsu was addressing a gathering on the occasion of the National Day reception at the Embassy of Japan. The National Day of Japan is observed to celebrate the birthday of Akihito, the Emperor of Japan, who will turn 84 on December 23.
Referring to the Japanese direct investment into India, he underlined that Japanese FDI has almost doubled from $2.6 billion in 2014 to $4.7 billion in 2016. This, he said, clearly illustrated the huge upsurge in Japanese companies’ interest in entering the lucrative Indian market and expanding their operations.
Mr Hiramatsu also added that the two countries were discovering new avenues of collaboration, for instance, in retail, services sectors, and start-ups. In the field of people-to-people exchanges, Japan will continue to work towards accelerating it through tourism, youth exchanges, sports and Japanese language education.