NEW DELHI, Jan 27 � The Japanese are coming to the North-East, this time as investors, as India has invited them to explore the possibility of investing in the region, the gateway to South East Asia, under the Look East Policy.
�Japan is at the heart of India�s Look East Policy. It is also a key partner in our economic development and in our quest for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia and the world. Anchored in our shared values and interests, the partnership between a strong and economically resurgent Japan and a transforming and rapidly growing India can be an effective force of good for the region,� Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said in a statement during the visit of Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sources told this newspaper that the proposal was in the play for quite some time, after Japan showed interest in investing in the North East. �We have thrown open the entire North East for Japanese investors and they are keen to invest in infrastructure sectors,� the sources said.
Japan has already engaged a company to prepare a feasibility report, the sources added.
The move by New Delhi has come as a major policy initiative, which some experts describe as an attempt to checkmate China, which has geographical proximity to the region. Officials however, declined to comment on the issue but said infrastructure bottlenecks in the NE are a major problem area.