Japan keen to invest in NE

Staff Correspondent

SHILLONG, May 7: Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu discussed a number of issues relating to investment in infrastructure, agriculture, food processing, increasing people-to-people contact and of course lifting the security advisory to Japanese nationals in Meghalaya with State Governor Ganga Prasad.
After more-than-half-an-hour meeting with the Governor, Hiramatsu told newsmen at the lawns of the Raj Bhawan on Monday that his country is looking ahead to foster further cooperation with India. Stating that he is very happy to be in Meghalaya, the Japanese Ambassador added, “We’ve talked a lot about the possibility of more cooperation in infrastructural developments. We would also like to encourage the Japanese to invest more in Northeast India.”
Pointing about the rich potential of the State, Hiramatsu also spoke about Japan’s technology that could boost agriculture and food-processing industries in Meghalaya. He emphasized Japanese eagerness to contribute to the State in the mentioned fields. He was lucid in pointing out the importance of increases people-to-people and cultural ties between the North Eastern region and Japan to the similarities that both the people have. “We’ll encourage our people for more people-to-people ties in order to live up with our objectives to enhance investment in your region,” Hiramatsu stated.
On this note, the Meghalaya Governor appraised the Japanese envoy on the security concerns that refrained Japanese nationals from visiting the State. “While there were a few security concerns in the past, the situation has improved quite a lot over the last few years”, Ganga Prasad said, besides providing data backing the improved security situation to the Ambassador so that appropriate steps could be taken to review the situation.
Referring to the strawberry plantation in Meghalaya, whose production has been falling due to shortage of planting materials and the lack of the technical knowhow, the Governor, on behalf of the State Government, solicited Japan’s support in transferring appropriate technology to the State. He also sought similar assistance on the knowhow in mushroom cultivation in the State.
The Japanese Ambassador also planted a tree at the Raj Bhavan garden as part of the diplomatic exercise.