The India-Japan Act East Forum will be a "milestone" for an enhanced relationship between his country and the North Eastern Region of India, and reinforce the bilateral ties, Japanese envoy Kenji Hiramatsu today said.
The ambassador said this in his address at the first meeting held in New Delhi under the newly established 'Act East Forum' which was set up to identify specific projects for economic development of the North Eastern Region (NER).
"Indeed, I am sure that the Act East Forum will be a milestone for an enhanced relationship between Japan and the North Eastern Region in India," he said.
He emphasised that historically, Japan was related to the NER through the experience of the Battles of Imphal and Kohima during the World Ward II.
During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India in September, both sides had signed a pact to establish the India-Japan Act East Forum.
"Furthermore, Japan is keen to expand business opportunities of Japanese companies in the North Eastern Region so that we can directly share the economic profits with the local societies," the envoy said in a statement.
The statement was handed out to a group of journalists from India and Japan, during Hiramatsu's interaction with them at the Japanese Embassy here late evening.
The Forum consists of all the "relevant Union ministers and state governments of North Eastern Region from India's side, and the Embassy of Japan and all government-affiliated agencies in New Delhi from Japan's side," he added.
"This is the first such framework to get all relevant officials together," the envoy said.
Hiramatsu said, "I am sure that this initiative will further expand our cooperation in the North Eastern Region, deepen friendship between Japan and this region, and reinforce the Japan-India relationship further.
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