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New partnership in Odisha strengthens the existing bond between India and Japan

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Japanese Ambassador to India Satoshi Suzuki

India has lauded the new initiatives launched by the Mitsubishi Group at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) in Odisha's Bhubaneswar, saying that it has immense potential to further enhance cooperation between New Delhi and Tokyo.

On a visit to the state capital on Thursday, Japanese Ambassador to India Satoshi Suzuki and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited KIIT and its sister institute Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) to celebrate the starting of a Japanese language program and enhanced sports cooperation which would help in training of players, exchange of coaches and mutual use of facilities.

Shringla said that the commencement of these efforts to develop human resources is  expected to serve as a bridge between the two countries in the future. Based on the MoU signed with KIIT/KISS, Mitsubishi Group in India will accept students with proficiency in their Japanese language from the newly-established department. For KISS, they are considering providing support as part of CSR activities.

The Foreign Secretary also emphasised that the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is focusing on comprehensive development of relations with India's neighbours.

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"It includes several connectivity projects to connect India with Bangladesh and Myanmar, and eventually push all the way by road, by sea, by air to Vietnam, to Japan," he said.  

The Japanese Ambassador stressed that such new initiatives will help in deepening people to people exchange between India and Japan.

Both Shringla and Suzuki also attended a Japan investment seminar organised by the government of Odisha.

Titled 'Investment Opportunities for Japanese companies in Odisha', the event saw some lively discussion on how to attract more investment from Japanese companies into the state.

The relationship between the two countries is expected to receive a further boost after Fumio Kishida took over as the new Prime Minister of Japan, earlier this month.

In their 'summit telephone talk' on October 8, both Kishida and PM Modi decided to elevate the Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership to greater heights by promoting cooperation in a wide range of areas, including political and security issues, economy, economic cooperation as well as people-to-people exchanges.

Both countries have already stepped up their infra partnership in the North-East to substantiate New Delhi's Act East policy and Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy.

The New Delhi-Tokyo cooperation is now also moving to other states and areas such as green technology, digital, healthcare, enhancing connectivity and personnel exchanges under the system of Specified Skilled Worker.

The construction of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail, which is a Japan-India flagship project, also continues to gather pace.

Also Read: India's North East can help shape Asia's future, says Japan