Ex-Japan PM Suga, India's Modi agree to bolster economic ties

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed Thursday to bolster their economic ties as Japan pushes for more investments in the fast-growing South Asian country.

Suga, who heads the Japan-India Association and is leading a large business delegation to the world's most populous country, told Modi in New Delhi that it is important for India to improve its logistics infrastructure and taxation system to spur Japanese investments, according to a member of the group.

The delegation consisted of about 100 individuals representing 54 companies. Among them was Yuji Fukasawa, the president of East Japan Railway Co., who also participated in the meeting between Suga and Modi.

Suga and Modi also reaffirmed their commitment to advancing a high-speed railway project that would link the coastal city of Mumbai to Ahmedabad in the Gujarat state, the member said.

Japan has provided financial and technological support for the project, which employs its shinkansen bullet train technology.

The meeting between Modi and Suga, a senior lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who served as prime minister for just over a year to October 2021, took place ahead of Modi's upcoming role as chair of a Group of 20 summit in September.

Strengthening relations with India is crucial for Japan as the current chair of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, given their strategic partnership based on shared fundamental values and interests.

India is a member of the Quad -- a four-way security framework that includes Japan, the United States and Australia -- and a key member of the "Global South," a term that collectively refers to developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

© Kyodo News