Japan has interest in northeast India’s development: Envoy

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) Japan has specific interest in the development of northeastern India and its connectivity with east Asia, Japanese Amabassador Kenji Hiramatsu said here on Monday.

“In regard with northeast (India), we have specific interest in its development and specially it is important to connect it with other countries in east Asia,” Hiramatsu said in a media interaction.

“The importance of northeast’s development was mentioned in our joint communique last year,” he said.

The communique was issued following the annual bilateral summit headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe here in November 2015.

It said: “Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to provide ODA (Overseas Development Aid) loans for the improvement of road network connectivity in northeastern states of India, the peripheral ring road surrounding Bengaluru, and the horticulture irrigation in Jharkhand.”

Hiramatsu said that agreements have been signed to develop two highways in the region while work on one was already in progress.

“We are happy to do more with regard to northeast India’s development projects,” he said.

The Ambassador also mentioned that India was the biggest recipient of Japan’s ODA funds.

“In 2015, it was 367 billion yen (over $3.5 billion),” he said.

–IANS

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