Northeast to benefit from Act East policy, JICA to invest $1.5 bn


New Delhi:  Preceding Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India in December, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) agreed to invest in building road infrastructure in the strategically important Northeast.

This infrastructural exchange can be seen as a sign of developing relationship between the two nations. Advantaging from India’s ‘Act East’ policy, Japan is pushing up an infrastructure assistance to developing roadways connectivity in the Northeast India.

JICA is said to be investing $1.51 billion in constructing a 1,910 km section of road connectivity in the Northeast. This roadways construction is anticipated to help the transport logging and enhance public connectivity in the region.

The construction of the highway is expected to initiate from Meghalaya to Mizoram, situated on the extreme east of the northeast.

“Of this, Japan is likely to pledge approximately $687 million for upgrading the 435 km stretch of national highway in Mizoram and Meghalaya during Abe’s visit next month,” said an official in a newspaper interview.

Japan also has furthered plans to invest into high-speed rail projects between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. This initiative appears promising as Japan has already forwarded a loan to India for developing the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor Project, which is under construction and will connect two most important cities- Delhi and Mumbai.

Japan is an important international partner to India as it is the highest beneficiary of overseas development assistance given by the country. India holds an annual summit every year with Russia and the only other country with which it holds yearly talks is Japan.

“India is also looking for a Japanese cooperation to ramp up urban and sewerage infrastructure in the Northeast, the urban infrastructure project in states like Jharkhand,” added the official in the interview.

These infrastructural investments are to help accelerate the government’s attention towards uplifting the north-east region of the country. With the upcoming visit of the Japanese PM, India has high hopes of developing a better and deeper bond with the country.