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International Relations

Japan to export medical infrastructure to India

Plan will smooth distribution of drugs and medical devices

India needs better infrastructure if it is to provide its 1.3 billion people with quality medical services.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's public and private sectors have agreed on a comprehensive package to promote the export of medical-related infrastructure to India, Nikkei has learned.

Some Indian companies already appear to be involved in the plan, which could go into effect this year.

Part of the package features logistics centers to be operated by Indian and Japanese companies. The centers will utilize advanced information technology that will allow for efficient inventory control and distribution of medicines and medical devices throughout India.

The plan also calls for bringing big data to medicine, a first for India. Japan will provide data-collecting expertise.

The package supports the Indian government's efforts to improve its medical infrastructure and gives Japanese companies a new route into India's growing medical services market.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to shore up India's medical services, which lag those of other emerging countries, so that the nation of 1.3 billion will be able to provide low-income earners with adequate medical treatment. Modi's agenda includes modernizing medical facilities and introducing a functional national health insurance program. Japan is internationally respected in both of these areas.

The Japanese government will work with Medical Excellence JAPAN, an organization comprising nearly 50 companies, including optics maker Olympus and medical-equipment producer Terumo.

As for the logistics centers, Osaka-based Konoike Transport will tie up with Indian companies to build the first facility, in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The total investment will come to several billion yen (more than $10 million).

Nikkei staff writer Eri Sugiura in Tokyo contributed to this article.

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