Bullet Trains will transform India in a positive manner: Hideki Asari, Minister (Political Affairs), Embassy of Japan

After a lecture about open trade between India and Japan, Hideki Asari, Minister (Political Affairs), Embassy of Japan, spoke on things that concern Japan. Below is edited excerpts.

The bullet train (Mumbai-Ahmedabad) has received criticism over the cost of the project. But what is the economic value of the project?

High speed trains have transformed Japan and it will transform India as well. However, I will leave the actual figures of job creation to the economists. But if you see there are over 13,000 Japanese companies in India and each of them creates job in India, especially the large manufacturers. These companies have been having a positive impact in Indian economy by creating huge number of direct and indirect jobs.

There were talks about taking 3 lakh Indian youth to Japan for training. How many of them will be employed there?

The schools where the youth would go for training, are operated by four major Japanese manufacturers. Each of these schools will train them; will help them develop their skills and they can find jobs in Japanese factories. Due to these skills, they will create better opportunities not just for themselves but for overall work force of India. However, I don’t have the figures.

How do you think Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) and Indo-Pacific change things in the region?

TPP is our country’s concern and we are consulting on how we carry it forward. Speaking of TPP itself, it has a very huge significance for strategic and economic implication. In the Pacific region, if you look at the size of economy of the participating countries, TPP will beneficial. This partnership will benefit India as well in lot of ways— in terms of trade and piracy issues. TPP will benefit not just participating countries but non-participating countries as well.

What will be Japan and India’s role in growth in the Pacific region?

Japan and India can collaborate not just in trade, but in investment, business collaboration, manufacturing in the quality products etc. This quality product manufacturing should not be limited towards Indian market but also outside market which will create more trade.

How will Japan help India to meet its green energy demands?

This area is important. Japan has technology and there is enough room for collaboration in this space for both countries. This area is not only promising but is also very important for the two countries to combat global warming.