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JAPANESE INVESTORS CAN’T WAIT FOR PERFECT INVESTMENT CONDITION TO COME IN, JAISHANKAR SAYS

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External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar Friday told Japanese investors that they need to take a few risks and cannot wait for “perfect investment conditions to come in” as both sides are looking at strengthening their strategic and business ties.

This comes at a time when India, Japan and Australia are busy working out a supply chain network, bypassing China within the larger Indo-Pacific construct.

“From the Japanese side, there’s got to be realism. India is India. You cannot say in some other country I get that… If you take a country with a completely different political sociology and say well I get that there, well that’s a different country,” Jaishankar said in his address to FICCI while digitally launching a report ‘India-Japan: Time to Seize New Opportunities’.

Jaishankar added, “Japanese investors can’t wait for the perfect investment condition to come in. If we get it that perfect, we would invest in it ourselves. They also need to take a few risks and make their calculations and see where they go.”

Hinting at China and its assertion of power within Asia, the minister said larger and important nations within Asia have to work together instead of a confrontation.

“A multipolar world must have multipolar Asia. This is something that India and Japan strongly believe… If we are to make Asia, give Asia a more prominent play in world politics. Then it’s important for all the nations of India, especially the larger and important nations of India, to get along together,” he said.

He stressed, “If they spend energy, not in a positive manner, but contesting each other, they are not going to advance the interest of Asia.”

‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat not a slogan in isolation’

Jaishankar also urged Japanese investors to “understand” the concept of Atma Nirbhar Bharat or a self-reliant India.

“A country like India needs to have an employment-centred economy. We cannot have our manufacturing hollowed out by imports coming in at non-market prices. We have seen the result of that. If we want to go out there and play in the world, we need to be industrialised and Atma Nirbhar Bharat is about manufacturing and about creating jobs… This is not a slogan in isolation,” he said.

In terms of the growing bilateral relationship, the minister said Japan is the only country with which India holds a summit meeting annually, as well as 2+2 dialogue, which takes place between the foreign and defence ministers on both sides.

He also said India and Japan together are now working in third countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar.