India-Japan Cooperation Act East Forum
1. India’s North East Region is one of the main areas of India’s Act East Policy. The region also shares historical and traditional bonds with ASEAN countries, and has the potential to be India’s springboard to the ASEAN region. Enhancing connectivity within North East Region and with its neighboring countries is essential to tap its potential and presents crystallized examples of the shared vision between Japan and India as expressed in the Vision Statement.
2. The Act East Forum established last year has served as a driving force to advance India-Japan cooperation in the North-East. Its second meeting was held on 8th October with the following outcomes:
2.1 Expediting implementation:
Meghalaya North East Connectivity
Phase 1: Tura-Dalu (NH-51)
Phase 2: Shillong-Dawki (NH-40)
Mizoram North East Coonectivity
Phase 1 & 2: Aizawl-Tuipang (NH-54)
Sikkim: Biodiversity Conservation & Forest Management
Nagaland: Forest Conservation Livelihood Improvement
2.2 Japan and India reaffirmed their intentions to proceed with:
Completion of Gelephu-Dalu Corridor in collaboration with the ADB including Dhubri/Phulbari bridge project, which will be the longest river bridge in India if realized, as Phase 3 of North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project.
Consideration of developing Main District Roads (MDRs) and Other District Roads (ODRs), which will have positive socio-economic effect. ODA loan to the “Project for Renovation and Modernization of Umiam-Umtru Stage-III Hydroelectric Power Station” Sustainable Forest Management in Tripura, and consideration for a similar project in Meghalaya.
2.3 Skill and Vocational Initiatives:
To launch “Japan-India North East Bamboo Initiative” in view of the significance bamboo plays in the region. Industrial uses of bamboos and bamboo forest management will be pursued under this initiative, building on the successful first “North East Bamboo Workshop. To promote Japanese language education in the North East as a part of the commitment made by the two Prime Ministers to establish Japanese language certificate courses at 100 higher educational institutions in India. The Forum welcomed the interest for such courses expressed by Cotton University and Gauhati University in Assam state, EFLU in Meghalaya state as well as NIT-N in Nagaland state, to which Japan is prepared to provide appropriate support through Japanese Language Teachers Training Centre. More proposals from North East States are welcome.To promote skill training including Japanese language for caregivers from North East who visit Japan for training under TITP (Technical Intern Training Program) ,which contributes to enhancing cooperation between the two countries under the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative.
2.4 Disaster Management:
Japan’s contribution to resilient infrastructures in North East Region and through Capacity Development Project on Highways in Mountainous Regions Knowledge sharing through the Japan-India Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction Pursuit of better utilizing JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program (Group & Region Focus) to provide relevant training opportunities for the officials of North East.
3. The Forum will review the progress of projects under its initiatives and further consider future cooperation concerning the North East Region of India.