Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has pitched for improvement in the investment environment for Japanese firms operating in India with many of them seeking a more predictable, transparent and stable business climate in the country.
A Japanese readout said Hayashi requested External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for cooperation on improving the investment environment and for the early establishment of a joint crediting mechanism, during their talks on Thursday.
Separately, deputy press secretary in Japan's foreign ministry Yukiko Okano said Hayashi met over lunch on Friday representatives of Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India (JCCII) and officials of several Japanese companies operating in the country, and they apprised him about the issues.
The Japanese foreign minister began his two-day visit to India on Thursday.
"The view from the Japanese businesspeople here is that they would like to see a more predictable, transparent and stable business environment in India, including implementing the legislation and tax issues," Okano told reporters.
She said issues such as infrastructure challenges have been raised in the past.
"These are the requests from the Japanese companies. I understand that the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in India has been in touch with relevant authorities of the Indian government and with the Japanese embassy," Okano said.
At the same time, Okano said the Japanese business community sees a growing opportunity in operating in India for investment and trade. "So, they would like to see a more stable investment climate and business environment put in place in India," she added.
The number of Japanese companies registered in India was 1439 as of June, 2022. Japanese outward FDI to India in 2020-21 and 2021-22 stood at USD 1.95 billion and USD 1.49 billion respectively, according to official data.
Cumulatively, from 2000 until June 2022, Japanese investments to India have been around USD 37.79 billion.
The readout issued by the Japanese foreign ministry said Jaishankar and Hayashi concurred that the Japanese and Indian public and private sectors would work together toward the target of 5 trillion yen in public-private investment and loans to India over the next five years.
This goal was set by both countries during Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's visit to India in March of last year.
"Furthermore, Minister Hayashi requested cooperation to improve the investment environment and for the early establishment of a Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM)," the readout said.
On defence cooperation, Okano said the relationship has been progressing steadily.
The official referred to both sides agreeing on transfer of defence equipment technologies in 2015 and the firming up of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSG) over two years back.
"Under these agreements we have been steadily progressing defence cooperation," she said.
The ACSG provides for creation of an enabling framework for closer cooperation and interoperability, besides allowing militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases and facilities for repair and replenishment of supplies.
To a question, Okano said there are some domestic restrictions on transfer of defence equipment and technologies, and they can be done only under certain conditions.
"We are now reviewing and revising that policy...Once that is done, there may be some other opportunities for cooperation," she said.
The readout said the two ministers affirmed that they would continue to work together for the success of the G20 New Delhi Summit in September.
"They also affirmed cooperation in the international arena, such as in the Quad countries and Security Council reform," it said.
On Friday, Hayashi also took a ride on Delhi Metro which is a signature project involving Japanese funding.
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