A magnificent election victory for the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s election is good news for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India and Japan have developed strong relationship under Modi’s leadership and now both Modi and Abe are planning to cooperate on various economic and strategic issues.

A new term for Abe means that Indian PM Modi has got a strong ally in both Abe and Japan. Japan and India are skeptical about China’s rise and domination in Asia. Both the nations believe that If they come together then they could counter China’s aggressive foreign and defense policies.

India and Japan have already made plans for the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) in response to the OBOR (One Belt One Road), according to eurasiantimes.com. 

India and Japan institutionalised a dialogue on Africa in 2010. Since then, they have been exploring the possibilities of cooperation in Africa’s socio- economic development.

However, it was only during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan in November 2016 that the idea of the two countries promoting a growth corridor between Asia and Africa was crystallised.  During the Africa Development Bank meeting (in May this year), India unveiled the Vision Document of the Asian Africa Growth Corridor. 

The vision document was prepared jointly by Indian and Japanese think tanks, i.e., Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and Institute for Development Economics - Japan External Trade Organisation (IDE-JETRO), in consultation with other think tanks in Asia and Africa. The main objective of the corridor is to enhance growth and connectivity between Asia and Africa. 

The corridor will focus on four areas: Development Cooperation Projects, Quality Infrastructure and Institutional Connectivity, Enhancing Skills, and People-to-People Partnership. Agriculture, health, technology, and disaster management have been identified as the main areas of development cooperation.

According to the vision document, AAGC will focus on enhancing skills and research and development capacities in Africa. It will also strive to develop institutional, industrial and transport infrastructure in the Asia -Africa region. The corridor will facilitate greater people-to-people exchanges amongst the participating countries, according to idsa.in.