In the North East region of India, the convergence of Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific policy with India’s “Act East” and “Neighbourhood First” initiatives creates a promising intersection for collaboration. Scheduled for February 12, 2024, in Shillong, Meghalaya, the fourth edition of the India-Japan Intellectual Conclave is poised to become a pivotal platform for officials, leaders, and experts from India, Japan, Bangladesh, and neighboring countries. This forum aims to foster discussions, establish connections, and explore opportunities in business, government, and academia.
Launched in 2021 by the Embassy of Japan in India and the Asian Confluence, the initiative has gained significance in addressing key issues such as connectivity in Northeast India, the establishment of industrial value chains, and enhancing people-to-people exchanges. The Third Conclave, held in Agartala, Tripura, in April 2023, witnessed the participation of ministers, government officials, and business leaders. They delved into the New Plan for ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)’ announced by Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida a month before the event.
The Conclave served as a gathering point for senior policymakers, diplomats, businesses, and academic institutions. It assessed the potential of northeast India and Bangladesh multimodal connectivity within the context of India-Japan collaboration in the Bay of Bengal region, with special attention given to Tripura and adjoining northeastern states as a future connectivity hub.
During the event, Suzuki, Ambassador of Japan to India, emphasized the warm relations between the late Shinzo Abe, PM Modi, and PM Sheikh Hasina. He highlighted PM Abe’s vision of connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans, assuring that incumbent Japanese PM Fumio Kishida pledged to continue implementing Abe’s visionary initiatives during his visit to India.