One of the common sights on the streets of Delhi is the Maruti-Suzuki four-wheelers. Another common sight in the Indian capital in recent years has been the crowd of travellers in the ever-bustling city rail – the Metro. The Maruti-Suzuki blazed the trail for a number of similar ventures in the world's second most populous country . The Metro revolutionized the public transport in one of Asia's most important capitals.
Both have one thing in common – the Japanese connection. India -Japan cooperation has come a long way since Japan gave support and assistance to Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian national army that gave a boost to India's fight for independence against the colonial British forces; and since the first Prime Minister of India after independence Jawaharlal Nehru gifted 'Indira', an Indian elephant named after his daughter, to a Tokyo zoo, that brought a ray of light into the lives of the Japanese children suffering from the aftermath of World War II.
Today, as global focus increasingly center on Asia the scope and the potential of cooperation between two important Asian countries has garnered even more attention. An upcoming mega event does underscore the importance of the partnership between them. Leaders from a cross section of society from the two countries are due to take up all gamut of partnership at a summit conference to take the bilateral cooperation to a new height. Initiated by India Centre Foundation, a Delhi-based non-profit NGO, the India Japan Global Partnership Summit (IJGPS) is expected to draw in experts including prominent policy makers, decision makers, top government authorities and businessmen aims at creating a micro roadmap for a macro vision in order to promote cooperation in diverse sectors such as infrastructure, agro-economy, healthcare, tourism, banking and finance, energy security, education . Among the major focus will be areas like healthcare, agro economy, information and communication technology, tourism. The goal: all-inclusive uplift of the people. Based on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, the initiative seems to incorporate the combined strengths of India and Japan and uphold the vision of India and Japan as global partners.
Does Indo-Japan cooperation mean anything for Nepal? Does the initiative to promote the partnership between the two key Asian countries carry any relevance for their small, poor South Asian counter part? They do. For two reasons. India is Nepal's closest neighbor with open borders and a donor as well. Despite being a distant friend Japan has long been Nepal's major donor. Nepal can therefore benefit a lot from the partnership between the two. The Japan-India-Nepal (JIN) initiative under the IJGPS could be a very useful platform to explore the potential benefits especially in the development of such areas as hydropower, infrastructure, tourism and agro-economy. A prosperous Nepal, sandwiched as it is between the two rival Asian giants – India and China – can become a bridge for cooperation in the region. This could contribute to the cause of peace and stability in the whole of Asia.