India will get $35 billion from Japan over the next five years for development projects, including building of smart cities and next generation infrastructure as also cleaning of the Ganga, as Premier Shinzo Abe on Monday pledged to partner PM Narendra Modi's "ambitious" vision of inclusive development.
The two sides also signed five pacts covering defence exchanges, cooperation in clean energy, roads and highways, healthcare and women while vowing to take their relationship to newer level.
"PM Abe affirmed a broader and stronger Japanese partnership for PM Modi's bold and ambitious vision for accelerating inclusive development in India, particularly by transforming the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors," said the Tokyo declaration for Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
Abe expressed his intention to realise 3.5 trillion yen (R2,10,000 crore, $35 billion) of public and private investment and financing from Japan, including overseas development assistance (ODA), to India in five years, it said.
The fund will be used to finance public and private projects of mutual interest including in the areas of next generation infrastructure, connectivity, transport systems, smart cities, rejuvenation of Ganga and other rivers, manufacturing, clean energy, skill development, water security, food processing and agro industry, agricultural cold chain, and rural development.
In this connection, PM Abe pledged ODA loan of 50 billion yen to India Infrastructure Finance Company for a public-private partnership project in India.
Modi expressed deep appreciation for Japan's continuous support for India's economic development and stated that "no country" has done more for modernising India's infrastructure.
The $35 billion funding, at an average of $7 billion a year, would be the highest from any country and Modi expressed gratitude to Abe for this. "There is no limit to our cooperation. There is nothing lacking in our will... There is new enthusiasm and expectation," Modi said, adding he had decided to put Japan in the "fast-track" channel.
Addressing the media jointly with Abe after talks, Modi said the financial help from Japan is not limited to one or the other sector. "PM Abe understands my vision and agreed to help," he said.
Referring to his meeting with Abe, he said as soon as he mentioned the Ganga project, the Japanese PM told him to just spell out the expectations from him. "We have taken decisions which will strengthen cooperation, These include youth exchanges and language training," Modi said. "We will move with new hope and confidence," Modi said, adding closer cooperation between India