Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

Tokyo:  Terming the 21st century as an Asian era, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India and Japan must work together to ensure both peace and development for mankind.

“There is no doubt that the 21st century is Asia’s century. The world has accepted it. The question in my mind is – how will it be? We have to provide this answer. Indo-Japan ties are crucial for peace in Asia.

The onus is on both elected governments to deliver to the people for the faith shown in us,” Prime Minister Modi said during a business luncheon programme organised by the Nippon B Keidanren, Japan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He also said that political stability in both countries has resulted in accountability and responsibility, and this acts as an inspiration.

“Here in Japan too, after a long time, the mandate is stable. In India, after 30 years, a single party has achieved a majority. The people’s expectations from me have risen as I became a Prime Minister. Good governance is my priority. We are looking at how to integrate technology with governance,” he added.

“Businessmen need a good environment to grow and this is our responsibility. The state has to be policy-driven,” the Prime Minister further added.

Stressing on the fact that India is a youthful nation, the Prime Minister said that his government is giving priority to skill development and mentioned that the Indian skill force can help providing the workforce required across the world by 2020.

“India is a youthful nation. We want to give importance to skill development. Be it quality, zero defect and discipline, we give importance to them. We want to follow Japan’s model of skill development,” the Prime Minister said.

He also talked about India collaborating with Japan in the field of research and development, which he said has no end to it.

Targetting India’s desire for clean energy, he said New Delhi is not a hydrocarbon-rich nation, and hence, clean energy is a necessity, and called for collaboration with Japan.

“We believe in clean energy. The more help we get from Japan in this sector, we can help the world as well,” he added.

The Prime Minister also talked about the initiatives taken in his government’s interim budget for 2014-15, in areas such as defence and railways, the result of which he said, will be seen in the coming days.

“We have taken a bold step by allowing 100 percent FDI in railways; we have raised the FDI limit to 49 percent in defence; we have talked about 100 percent FDI in infrastructure. For this, whatever changes of laws are needed, we are doing it and the results will be seen,” he added.

Assuring Japanese investors that it will be easy to do business in India, and taking Gujarat as a yardstick and parameter, the Prime Minister said, “In the coming days, you’ll get the same speed and response that you have experienced in Gujarat in the past. Being a Gujarati, commerce is in my blood. It is the policy makers and the government’s responsibility to provide a positive environment for businessmen.”

Without naming any country, he said the world was divided into two streams — one which believes in expansionism; and the other that believes in development.

“There are two streams- one of  expansionism or ‘Vistarvaad’; and the other of development or ‘Vikasvaad’. ‘Vikasvaaad’ is the way ahead. Those who believe in the path of Buddha, they follow the path of development; they come with the guarantee of peace. If we want to lead the world’s economy, then India and Japan have to work together,” he said.

He said that his government will introduce necessary reforms and move forward, and announced the creation of a special management team which would be dedicated to Japanese investors under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office. this drew a huge round of applause.

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Free Press Journal