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Gujarat wants mini-Japan on its soil; Modi on a mission

Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is heading a 25-member delegation to Japan, pitched for a mini-Japan in Gujarat through greater exchange in different spheres between the Land of the Rising Sun and the state.

The Chief Minister spent the first day in Japan holding discussions with key Japanese ministers. In a meeting with Japanese Trade Minister Yukio Edano, Modi expressed the desire for extending the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor so that it covers Ahmedabad-Dholera Bhav-nagar. He told the Minister that Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Pune bullet train project and Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad-Dholera metro train project would be based on Japanese bullet train project.

Modi called for establishing a center of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Ahmedabad, and pressed for starting Japanese language classes in Gujarat. The Chief Minister discussed the possibility of developing Buddhist tourism between Gujarat and Japan with Tourism Minister Yuchiro Hata. Modi called for launch of direct flights between Tokyo and Ahmedabad, and invited Japanese government for research in the field of renewable energy in Gujarat.

Modi also paid a courtesy visit to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe was the Prime Minister when Modi had last visited Japan in 2007. Earlier, he addressed a seminar organized by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and pitched for Japanese investment in Gujarat.

“Japan has experience and power, while Gujarat has entrepreneurship. Japan has technology, Gujarat has youth power. Japan is insistent on discipline and values while Gujarat has the zeal for perfection. If we get together, we can create a great future for ourselves and the whole world,” the Chief Minister said at the seminar. “We are committed to give them not only a good working environment but also good quality of life. That is why we are setting up two Japanese townships in the state,” he said. He attributed Gujarat’s success in recent years to focus on futuristic infrastructure.

Two Japanese Special Eco-nomic Zones — a Hitachi plant at Dahej and Maruti Suzuki’s car-manufacturing project in Mehsana district —are coming up in the state, said Modi, who is on a four-day visit to Japan.

“The people of Gujarat are extremely mature and due to political stability, there is consistency in policy, which increases confidence and investment in Gujarat,” he said at an investment seminar of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) here on July 23.

Highlighting the potential in terms of economic ties between Gujarat and Japan, Modi said his government wants to create a “mini-Japan” in the state.

Copyright 2008 I M/s. DholeraSIR Infra Development.