Japan looks forward to assist in skill enhancing, infra projects in Assam: envoy

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Guwahati, Feb 15 (PTI) Japanese Ambassador to India Satoshi Suzuki said on Monday that his country is looking forward to assist in projects related to enhancing skills and infrastructure in Assam.

For India, the development of North East is indispensable and the country is mobilising all the abundantly available resources in the region, including Assam, the envoy said.

'Abundant human and natural resources, as well as rich cultural diversity of Assam needs to be tapped to their full potential,' he said at an international convention on Act East Policy and Indo-Japan Cooperation with special focus on Assam.

Japan takes a 'panoramic view in its diplomacy and this vision is free, open and inclusive at its centre. India's North East, including Assam, plays an important role in this vision', he said.

The envoy, who began his speech in Assamese saying how delighted he was to be in the state and ended it with 'Joi Aai Asom' (Hail Mother Assam), highlighted the various similarities between Japan and Assam and there can be a collaboration between the two to boost their mutual interests.

He said that connecting India's eastern border with South East Asia and the Bay of Bengal makes sense both economically and strategically.

Japan is already supporting several connectivity projects in the region which will reduce travelling time and improve connectivity among Bhutan, India and Bangladesh.

Referring to the Guwahati Water Supply Project assisted by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), Suzuki said that he was very impressed with the progress of the project and clean drinking water would soon be supplied to households in the city.

On the Guwahati sewerage project, he said that this will not only support a more convenient life but also ensure better healthcare and sanitation.

'Due to the COVID-19 situation, healthcare and sanitation has assumed great importance and Japan will support these endeavours', he said.

Japan is also committed to human resource development and has collaboration with IIT, Guwahati which will create new eco-system of entrepreneurs in Assam.

Acquiring and enhancing skill development through internships and training programmes will also help the youths of Assam, he said.

The envoy said that his country was also willing to partner with Assam to train its human resources to enable them to avail job opportunities in Japan.

'Abundant natural resources as well as skilled capital will connect the youths with new businesses and will also make them globally competitive,' Suzuki added.

He also thanked India for its long good and friendly relations with Japan and said that his country would not have been in a position to get out of the ashes of the destructions caused by the Second World War without help from India. PTI DG NN NN