GUWAHATI, March 3 - Japanese Ambassador to India Santoshi Suzuki today called on Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the latter�s office at Janata Bhawan and both the leaders vowed to take reciprocal steps to enhance the increasingly firm and friendly ties between Japan and Assam.
Appreciating Japan�s friendly gesture of continuing with its increasing collaboration and commitment to the development of Assam, Chief Minister Sonowal requested the Japanese envoy to look into the expeditious completion of JICA-assisted Guwahati Metropolitan Drinking Water Project. Suzuki informed Sonowal he himself had visited the project site and maintained that though the work is progressing satisfactorily, his office would get in touch with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to complete the project on a fast track basis.
Chief Minister Sonowal also discussed with the envoy issues like road connectivity, enhancement of livelihood, empowerment of women, youth exchange programmes and constant people-to-people contacts.
Reiterating Japan�s commitment to sustain its collaboration with Assam, Suzuki said Japan is willing to invest in road projects, bridges, manufacturing sectors, health care sector and food processing. On his emphasis that Japan needs youths from the State who will be fluent in the Japanese language, Chief Minister Sonowal informed that under the Skill Development Mission in Assam, 200 youths from the State apart from getting different forms of skill enhancement training, would be taught the Japanese language.
On the increasing demand for youth exchange programmes between Japan and India, Suzuki said efforts would be made to increase the representation of Assam�s youths to visit Japan and vice
In regard to the Japanese Prime Minister�s visit to the country, Sonowal said though the visit which was scheduled in December, it had to be postponed. But now Assam is fully ready to host the Prime Minister.
Opening the doors for investment in Assam, Sonowal said plots of land measuring 600 acres have been earmarked in the State for industrial township. He requested the Japanese Ambassador to impress upon the Japan External Trade Organisation to extend its operations to Assam.