Inauguration of Japan-India Act East Forum

Embassy of Japan in India and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) inaugurated “Japan-India Act East Forum” on 5th December. Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar attended the inauguration ceremony and first meeting of the Forum at MEA.
The Forum aims to expand the cooperation between Japan and India in the North Eastern Region (NER) to strengthen the relationship between Japan and the NER, as well as that between Japan and India. In this regard, the Forum discusses cooperation in various fields and promotes Japan’s cooperation in the NER.
The Forum is comprised of Embassy of Japan and other government-affiliated Japanese organizations based in New Delhi from Japan’s side; MEA and other relevant government offices as well as State governments of the NER from India’s side.
The two governments signed the Memorandum of Cooperation on the establishment of “Act East Forum” when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Ahmedabad in September with a view to strengthening the existing framework, “Coordination Forum for Development of North Eastern Region” which was jointly established in August.
Ambassador Hiramatsu, in his inaugural address (link to Ambassador’s speech), emphasized that Japan places special focus on cooperation in the NER as the region is located where Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” and India’s “Act East Policy” converge and as the region is important in terms of connectivity with South Asia, Southeast Asia and BIMSTEC countries.

Moreover, referring to historical ties between Japan and the NER, Ambassador Hiramatsu mentioned that Japan is happy to expand the cooperation not only in hard infrastructure development, such as road network connectivity, electricity, water supply and sewage, but also in cultural schemes like people-to-people exchange, Japanese language education and sports exchange; and in social and environmental sustainability projects, such as afforestation and community empowerment.
At the Forum, participants discussed the areas of possible cooperation with Japan, such as connectivity road infrastructure, tourism, electricity, people-to-people exchange and capacity development. Japanese side explained its efforts to support disaster management.
Ambassador Hiramatsu delivering his Inaugural address at the Forum (center)

Overview of the session