I came to India last November and officially started my duties on December 9. I feel very pleased and much honoured to serve as the Ambassador of Japan to India as India has increasingly been playing an important role in the international community. I would like to further enhance our bilateral relationship, strengthening our cooperation in such fields as economy, business and security in particular. Furthermore, I would also like to develop our cooperation towards jointly addressing regional and global issues.
Just after my arrival, I had a privilege to receive the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe, who visited India for his annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During this visit, both Prime Ministers signed the joint statement entitled “Japan and India Vision 2025: Special Strategic and Global Partnership – Working Together for Peace and Prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region and the World.” This document marks the beginning of a new era between Japan and India. Both countries have taken big steps for further collaboration in areas such as the introduction of Japan’s High Speed Railways technology to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route, cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology, and Security Measures for Protection of Classified Military Information, as well as the Japan-India Make-in-India Special Finance Facility. Both Prime Ministers visited the sacred city of Varanasi and were warmly welcomed by the people there. This was an excellent opportunity to show the intimate, friendly ties between the two countries. Since then, our bilateral relationship has gained momentum and we are endeavouring to implement initiatives and projects.
Our economic relationship reflects the deepening bilateral ties. The number of Japanese companies operating in India has been on the steady rise. Japan continues to be among the top countries investing in India. Japan's ODA provided to India in FY2015 marked the highest ever amount, making India the largest recipient of our ODA currently. On the other hand, further improvement of business environment is expected in order to facilitate investment from Japan. Japan fully supports the efforts of both central and state governments of India in this regard. They will be instrumental to further strengthening our economic relationship and to achieving the shared target of realizing 3.5 trillion yen of public and private investment and financing from Japan to India in 5 years as announced in "Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership."
While Japan and India enjoy a long lasting friendship, we are now forging an ever closer relationship. To strengthen this relationship, it is important to enhance the strategic dialogues between Japan and India. The two countries share the common basic values and interest in ensuring that the Indian and Pacific Oceans remain open, free and safe spaces for navigation.
Cooperation with India in the global context is also important. India has been playing an active role in the UN Security Council reform process. The G4 (Japan, India, Germany and Brazil) held its first summit in September, 2015, making progress in the UN reform efforts. There is also a large possibility for cooperation in global agenda such as climate change and environment. I would like to put forward candid discussions with the Indian counterparts so that the two countries can tackle global issues hand in hand.
People-to-people exchanges between Japan and India have room for further development. To stimulate these exchanges, we have started easing the visa procedures and began implementing the initiative to promote the visit by 10,000 young Indian talents to Japan in the next five years. I hope many more young Indian talents will engage in developing the relationship between both countries in coming years.
India is a large repository of World Cultural Heritage Sites. As the Ambassador of Japan to India, I am actively visiting many places and meeting many people in order to grasp a better understanding of India.
Ambassador of Japan to India