Japan's envoy to India nudges Karnataka govt to offer better business environment for Japanese companies

Japan Airlines to start Bengaluru-Tokyo direct flights after Covid-19 subsides
Last Updated : 17 February 2021, 15:55 IST

Follow Us :


Japan’s national carrier will launch direct flights linking the country’s capital with Bengaluru once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, Tokyo’s envoy to New Delhi, Satoshi Suzuki, said, even as he subtly nudged the Karnataka state government to offer a better business environment for Japanese companies.

Suzuki said that Japan Airlines had plans to start a direct flight linking Tokyo-Bengaluru in March 2020, but it had to be postponed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. “But I am hopeful that once Covid-19 is subsided and the direct flight route connecting the two cities opens, people-to-people exchanges between Japan and Karnataka will expand appreciably. I am sure (the) JAL (Japan Airlines) will be in operation soon,” he said, speaking on “Japan’s connect with Karnataka” at an event organized by the FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians.

Tokyo’s envoy to New Delhi said that Japanese government had been assisting and would continue to do so to build basic infrastructure in Karnataka to promote investment by the companies based in his country.

“The better business environment you offer, the more Japanese companies will willingly come to Karnataka. We cannot be complacent. We should move further ahead,” he said.

He said that the JAL’s Bengaluru-Tokyo flight would also offer seamless connectivity to North America via the capital city of Japan. “I look forward to seeing (the) Japan Airlines flights supporting overseas activities of Bengaluru’s IT (Information Technology) talents,” he said, adding: “Furthermore, in the post-Covid-19 times, this route could serve as a main artery of tourist transportation network as well.”

Japan was the fifth-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in Karnataka from 2014 to 2019. The investment by the East Asian nation’s companies in the state grew 5.4 times from $1.3 billion in 2016 to $7.2 billion in 2019, with the IT and healthcare being the focus sector. Not only Toyota and Honda, but as many as 217 Japanese companies are at present operating in Karnataka, mainly in the automobile industry.

“We will continue to cooperate with various parties to promote Japanese companies’ operations there. Let me add, though, that for Japanese companies operating in India, a stable business environment as well as smooth labour management relationship is very important,” said Suzuki, adding: “It would be much appreciated if they could continue to receive necessary assistance from stakeholders in Karnataka.”

He referred to Japan’s investment in several infrastructure projects in Karnataka, including the Bangalore Metro Phase 1. “Now we are conducting a feasibility study of lines 2A and 2B, which will connect the eastern side of the Outer Ring Road and Kempegowda International Airport,” said Japan’s ambassador to India.

He also requested the Government of Karnataka to encourage its people to utilise Japan’s “Technical Intern Training Program” or (the) TITP, which was designed to contribute to the development of sending countries through on-the-job training of foreign nationals who wish to acquire certain skills. Tokyo and New Delhi also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to facilitate citizens of India to travel to Japan and take advantage of the newly-launched “Specified Skilled Worker” programme launched by the Japanese Government in 2019. The new scheme was designed to allow foreign nationals with a certain level of expertise and skills to work in Japan, not as trainees, but as any other Japanese.

The Government of Japan is currently engaged in discussions with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) of the Government of India to establish an effective cooperation mechanism for implementing this new scheme.

Published 17 February 2021, 15:55 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us