Home Contact Us  
   

Southeast Asia - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4960, 18 January 2016
 
Japan in Northeast India: A Potential Boost for New Delhi’s ‘Act East Policy’
Ateetmani Brar
Research Officer, IReS, IPCS
E-mail: ateetbrar_2@yahoo.com
 

India’s northeastern states are strategically important and are endowed with reserves of a variety of natural resources such as uranium, coal, hydrocarbons, forests, oil, and gas. However, among the biggest challenges the region faces, is connectivity. To resolve the issue, two years ago, New Delhi, during Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe’s New Delhi visit as the Chief Guest of India’s 65th Republic Day Parade, invited Tokyo to invest in and build overland infrastructure in the country’s northeastern states.

This matter was also discussed during incumbent Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s September 2014 visit to Tokyo. However, the project has been unable to take off the way it was expected to. Even during Abe’s New Delhi visit from 11 to 14 December 2015, the project was just mentioned in passing, and maximum attention was accorded to other matters such as the nuclear deal, fortification of defence relations, and Japan's winning of the contract to build India's first bullet train network. The bullet train will connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and the cost of construction will be $18148.15 million.

In that light, set at $2777 million, the Northeast connectivity project has an ambitious budget,  aiming  to build better road connectivity for about 1,200 km in the region and transforming it into a manufacturing hub. The funding of the project is set to be done by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a Japanese state-owned development agency, via Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan to India. The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) is the local Indian partner delegated with the responsibility of working with JICA in the region. The projects undertaken by JICA and the NHIDCL will begin in April 2016, after the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) get a  nod from JICA and the Department of Economic Affairs via India's Ministry of Roads Transport and Highways. Two main road projects include: a. the widening and improvement of Aizawl-Tuipang NH54 route (380 Kilometers) in Mizoram that will connect India to Myanmar; b. the same for the Tura-Dalu section (48 Kilometers) of NH51 in Meghalaya. The DPRs for these two projects have already been submitted.

Northeast Indian states share 5000 kilometers of international borders, with Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, Bhutan, and Nepal, providing strong links to foster economic integration with both South and Southeast Asia. Better connectivity within and between India’s northeastern states is central to ensure border security and maintaining peace and stability, especially given how the region has suffered from chronic insurgency for decades.

The northeastern region also is a key part of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ that aims to develop regions that lack infrastructure, and to build partnerships with key states in the Asia-Pacific, with a particular focus on Japan, Vietnam, Australia and other ASEAN countries.

For our northeastern states to serve as India’s link to its eastern neighborhood, connectivity in the region requires to be substantially increased. There are several infrastructural challenges that trouble the region. They include low road density and the poor quality of existing roads. Intra-regional connectivity too is inadequate. Silchar and Dimapur are the only two main rail-heads in the area and the other existing rail and road infrastructure connecting to various state capitals are unable to cope with the increase in both goods and passenger traffic over the years. The widening of the NH54 and NH51 is necessary for the region as this will aid the region in handling the increase in the traffic volume.

Better connectivity via improved road and rail links will give a boost to indigenous production as it will help produce from the northeastern states find ready markets in the country itself; and, it will also provide for access to compete for imports. It will also increase access to the larger Indian and export markets.

Japan is the only country whom India has actively invited to help in socio-economic development projects in Northeast India. Tokyo has been providing ODA loans in the fields of energy, water supply, forestry, and urban development in the Northeast since 1981. JICA is known for its expertise in constructing durable and environmentally sustainable roads across tough mountainous terrains, such as those in the Northeast. The agency has undertaken similar projects in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Ghana, Morocco and Tanzania. Building roads, railways, seaports and airports helps create quicker routes for trade and transport of raw materials to the resource-poor Japan. Also, improved infrastructure in the territories of JICA's ODA loan recipients makes it easier for Japanese companies to operate in them later.

The Northeast connectivity project will give the region as well as India’s ‘Act East Policy’ a major boost. The New Delhi-Tokyo engagement thus has the potential to further fortify India-Japan ties.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
WTO Verdict: A Roadblock to India’s National Solar Mission?

China-Japan-South Korea: Takeaways from the Trilateral Summit

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.