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Economy

Indian PM Modi calls for Japan aid in clean energy development

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday calls for further cooperation from Japan in clean energy development at a luncheon with Japanese business leaders in Tokyo.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for further cooperation from Japan in industrial research and development, including the area of clean energy.

     "I would like to work together with Japan in the field of research and development. We should (cooperate) continuously," Modi said at a luncheon with Japanese and Indian business leaders in Tokyo.

     Modi stressed his desire to promote clean energy in India. "I don't want to create energy by destroying nature," he said in reference to using coal and other fossil fuels.

     In developing environmentally friendly energy, "Japan's cooperation will play significant roles," Modi said, adding that providing clean energy to the 1.2 billion people in India will also help fight global warming.

     The comments came as India has increasingly accepted Japanese investment to accelerate growth in the rapidly developing economy, particularly through infrastructure development.

     It is Modi's first trip outside South Asia solely for a bilateral summit since taking office in May.

     Modi is widely seen as attaching special significance to Japan, welcoming investment by Japanese companies in the western state of Gujarat during his 12-year stint as chief minister. He has also made visits to Japan in the past.

     "I'm focusing on creating an environment for business" by foreign companies in India, he said, expressing his intention to attract more investment from abroad.

     Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of Keidanren, or the Japan Business Federation, which jointly hosted the luncheon, said "We would like to cooperate in India's economic development through infrastructure development."

     Japan and India have a free trade agreement effective since 2011. Trade between the two countries was valued at $16.3 in 2013, increasing more than four times over the past decade, according to Keidanren.

     Investment from Japan in India also doubled in the last five years, with more than 1,000 Japanese firms currently operating in India, the federation said.

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