*All images by IPRD, Jharkhand

Japan was the partner country in Momentum Jharkhand Global Investor Summit 2017. Since then there has been increased solidarity in the relationship of Japan and Jharkhand. A delegation led by Chief Minister also visited Japan in October 2017 to express gratitude for being the partner country and explore the areas of further cooperation. Both Japan and Jharkhand have discussed many areas of mutual cooperation and have taken various initiatives to develop the cultural and economic ties.

Once such initiative in this regard was developing sister city relationship between cities of Japan and Jharkhand. In this regard, a meeting was conducted in December 2017 between Jharkhand and “The Japan Council of Local Authorities for International Relations” (CLAIR) and “Japan External Trade Organization” (JETRO) at JETRO office in New Delhi. During the meeting, many areas of collaboration were identified such as Technology Transfer, Smart Municipal Governance, Industrial Development, Cultural Exchange, Tourism Promotion and Cyber and Security to name a few.  The Government of Jharkhand had also requested CLAIR & JETRO to visit Jharkhand and taking this relationship forward.

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In this regard, a high-level delegation of CLAIR & JETRO led by Mr. Hashimoto Kenjiro, Executive Director CLAIR, Singapore and Mr. Kazuya Nakajo Chief Director General, JETRO including Mr. Siau Min Yang, and Mr. Takayuki Hirota visited Ranchi on 7th May 2018. 

Dr. Sunil Kumar Barnwal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister welcomed the members of CLAIR and JETRO in Ranchi. The meeting was attended by Mr. Arun Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Urban Development and Housing, Mr. Ajoy Kumar Singh, Secretary Department of Higher, Technical Education and Skill Development, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Director SUDA and Dr. Shantanu Agarahari, Commissioner Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC).

Dr. Shantanu Agarahari, made a detailed presentation to the delegation and highlighted the key functions of RMC such as services offered to citizens, city development strategy and major reforms being undertaken in the area of sanitation, tax collection, traffic management etc. The key areas where Japanese expertise can be helpful for RMC are municipal governance, public transport, solid waste management, capacity building of municipal staff, urban planning.

Mr. Arun Kumar Singh and Dr. Sunil Kumar Barnwal sought support from CLAIR in materializing the proposed association between the local governments in Japan and Jharkhand for the proposed areas of interest. CLAIR informed that they are the government-affiliated foundation which supports the internationalization efforts of local governments in Japan.  Mr. Hashimoto assured that the CLAIR would extend the best possible support to the Govt. of Jharkhand in materializing the proposed associations. CLAIR representatives informed Govt. of Jharkhand that they will put the details of the areas of interest for each of the proposed cities of Jharkhand on their homepage so that the corresponding cities in the proposed prefectures can match their mutual interests. 

During the meeting, the roadmap for establishing the Japanese language school was also discussed.  Mr. Ajoy Kumar Singh informed that Ranchi University is starting the Japanese language course in August 2018 and requested support of Japan in framing the Japanese language curriculum, sourcing the Japanese language teachers and placing the student in Japanese companies. The representative of JETRO informed that there is a great demand of professionals from India having proficiency in Japanese Language and they had organized job fairs wherein students with Japanese language skill were hired by Japanese companies. JETRO assured to provide necessary support in coordination with Japan foundation.

Dr. Sunil Kumar Barnwal also discussed about connecting Itkhori to the Buddha Circuit and looks for support from CLAIR and JETRO in promoting tourism in this region.

CLAIR and JETRO representatives extended thanks to Mr. Arun Kumar Singh, Mr. Ajoy Kumar Singh, Dr. Sunil Barnwal, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Sharma and Dr. Shantanu Agarahari for their warm welcome in the state of Jharkhand. The meeting was very successful and puts another brick in strengthening the cultural and economic cooperation between Japan and Jharkhand.

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