Over time, the region of Northeast India has become a crucial part of the free and open Indo-Pacific vision of Japan, which is now the main leader in Northeast Indiaâ€™s infrastructure sector. The historic connection between Japan and Northeast India is a long-term deal from the time of World War II when the troops from both the regions fought alongside.
The other projects in which Japan is involved are the Guwahati Sewage Project (Assam), Guwahati Water Supply Project, the North-East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project taking place in Assam and Meghalaya, the Sustainable Catchment Forest Management Project (Tripura), the Project for Renovation and Modernisation of the Umtru-Umiam Stage III Hydroelectric Power Station (Meghalaya), the Capacity Enhancement for Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation Development Project (Mizoram), the construction of primary schools in Manipur and a forest management project in Nagaland, in January 2021, the total ODA to Northeast India from Japan was estimated over 231 billion yen, which is approximately $2 billion. IRIS program is also an initiative by Japan, that sends students from Indiaâ€™s Northeast to Japan, to allow them to build a better fortune.
In January 2021, the total ODA to Northeast India from Japan was estimated at over 231 billion yen, which is approximately $2 billion.
The infrastructure of the region of Northeast India is one part of the country that lacks the quality and that is when Japan comes in as an important role player. Both Japan and India notably have not agreed to join the Belt Road Initiative led by China, thus Beijing has funded infrastructure development in other countries that need attention and can be a good asset with the potential of growth.
Being an important part of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision of Japan, it is important to ensure the collective working of all the countries for the vision to keep the trade routes free for all in the Indo-Pacific. By possessing the Northeast, it will help Japan to act as a bridge to the gap the missing link between Myanmar and Bangladesh, where Japan is already a big leader. One region that will get the benefit is, New Delhi since the infrastructure of this place has been fallen back and needs an immediate uplift for India. Northeast India has been able to cover the gap due to the loans provided by Japan at minor rates of interest which are at a very minimal cost as compared to the cost of New Delhi.
The investment will also give a chance to both Japan and India to provide a substitute to the model of investment given by China in BRI.
The same has been the case for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway project and several other projects taking place in India. This investment will also give a chance to both Japan and India to provide a substitute to the model of investment given by China in BRI (Belt and Road Initiative).
Japan has been able to leave an impression of its soft power as well in Northeast India, for an instance, the Cherry blossom festival is being celebrated in the region of Meghalaya for some time now and the Japanese shows have also created quite a buzz, especially anime shows.
There are some challenges in the development of the infrastructure of North-eastern India, as the local level coordination between the Japanese system with different states becomes difficult. Another factor that might lead to trouble is the fact that in terms of development, all states of Northeast India are at contrasting stages.