Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh– File Photo

TOKYO: India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to sign deals for infrastructure projects worth $15 billion on a visit to Japan this week, a report said Wednesday.

The trip, which starts Thursday, will see the Indian premier hold talks with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda and lunch with Japanese business leaders, said officials at the foreign ministry and industry lobby Keidanren (Japan Business Federation).

A total of 19 infrastructure projects worth 1.2 trillion yen will benefit from the deals, which will involve Japanese manufacturers and trading houses, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The agreements will be signed at summit talks between Singh and Noda on Friday, the paper said.

Japan has been trying to expand diplomatic and economic ties with India in recent years against a backdrop of India's burgeoning economy and growing unease over China's rising clout.

A bitter territorial row over islands in the East China Sea is the latest episode to add weight to calls for Japan to form stronger partnerships with India as a counterbalance to Beijing's might.

Last month, Japan and India held talks between foreign and defence vice ministers “on wide-ranging issues such as Japan-India bilateral relations as well as global and regional issues”, foreign ministry officials have said.

Tokyo and New Delhi last week launched the Japan-India Cyber Dialogue framework to discuss counter-terrorism, with senior officials of both countries exchanging “views on such areas as national security issues, cybercrime, information security and system protection,” they said.

The infrastructure projects to be announced Friday will include seawater desalination, effluent processing and power generation in western India, where major Japanese companies such as Hitachi and Mitsubishi Corp will participate, the Nikkei said.

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November 15, 2012 12:33 pm
Good move.
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