Aizawl: Japan is taking massive efforts to extend more support to Mizoram, especially in the field of agriculture, irrigation and road development, Japanese ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu said on Thursday.
Hiramatsu, who was on his maiden visit to the hilly north-eastern state, called on state chief minister Zoramthanga over the possibility of more cooperation between Japan and Mizoram.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Hiramatsu said he had discussed with the chief minister about the ongoing project in Mizoram under Japanese International Cooperative Agency (JICA) and extending more support to the state.
He said that Japan will work on improvement of 380 km of National Highway between Aizawl and Tuipang (Tipa) in south Mizoram’s Siaha district. The Japanese government will also construct by-pass road to the National Highway, he said.
In 2016, the JICA had extended Rs 4,000-crore loan to India to improve two national highways in Mizoram and Meghalaya. One is NH-54 between Aizawl and Tuipang in Mizoram and the other one is 40 km of NH-51 between Tura and Dalu in Meghalaya.
The Japanese ambassador said that he had discussed with the chief minister about possibility of maximum utilisation of bamboo which is abundantly available in Mizoram.
Sticking to the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Mizoram government in 2016, he said the JICA will continue extending support for capacity enhancement for sustainable agriculture and irrigation development.
Hiramatsu also emphasised on the importance of people-to-people contact between Mizoram and Japan, especially among the younger generation, in order to boost ties. He said he had asked Zoramthanga to find possibility for establishment of a centre for learning Japanese language in Mizoram.
The ambassador said that the Japanese government is ready to extend technical help to Mizoram for preparation for natural disasters, especially landslides. He said that experts from Japan might be sent to Mizoram to study the terrain and land structure of the state and to find possibility for dispatching Japanese technology here.
He expressed hope that many landslides could be prevented with the help of Japanese technology. He added that Mizoram has a lot of potential for promoting eco-tourism and to achieve this mutual support is strategically importance.