How to promote Japanese investment to India
And Changes happened these thirty years in India
2000/1
At Banaras@Hindu@University

 Y. Sei  JICA, EXPERT

MY contact with India

I was a student of Hindi Department of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. I entered the University in 1958 and graduated in 1964, namely it took six years for me to graduate the same while usual students would do in four years.
I was one of three students who visited India in 1962. At that time my first step was printed in Vanarasi also. We stayed the hostel of Vanaras University. At that time I had feeling that it might be necessary minimum twenty years for me to understand India.
I entered Mitsubishi Corporation in 1964 and I was sent to Calcutta in 1967 where my family and I stayed until 1974. We experienced time of Naxalite and time of City of Joy. During seven years in Calcutta we had two more daughters making total three.
My company sent me to New Delhi twice to make total sixteen years stay in three times.
I was now called by Indian Government to make two years stay, by which my total stay would be eighteen years which still two years shortage from my calculation for me to understand India. So my thought about India would not be perfect, but I can point out what kinds of changes happened during these 37 years.

Changes I observed

When we arrived Calcutta in August 1962 by sea, people there had been enjoying the last of mangos at full extend. Many Bengali used to enjoy prawn curry every week. But now how difficult to take Alphonso mango and prawn curry. Bigger parts of those products are exported and prices of those items got higher for everyday consumption. Sweet shop was showing making process and who were making and no first food restaurant. Many factories were paying attention that who could be cooks for a canteen. Now nobody does care who is cocking inside kitchen of first food restaurant or a canteen, people will mind taste and quantity. Sweetness of watermelons increased by high-brid of Japanese two specimens in late 1980fs but now again sweetness decreased to my regret. Apples were considered rather high rank fruit in thirty years ago, but now it may considered same level as bananas. In fruit shops New Delhi, to my surprise, not a few kinds of imported fruits are shown. Southern snack shops are now observed every corner of big cities and there fried noodles are served as one of Indian dishes, which never observed in 30 years ago. Food habits of Indian people are changed much. Your traditional food also changed much. World famous Tandori chicken has changed. Dal has changed. You people are now not feeling strange if you take food outside.

When I came India in 1967, some of staff of Mitsubishi Corporation was in dothi at the office. Colours of dressing of people in Calcutta were white, black and khaki, not colorful at all. Many ladies and girls are now in T-shirt and Jeans. No dinner jacket is required in formal seat in cinema house which was must in dress circle of Calcutta big cinema house in 30 years ago. On arriving Calcutta, I did firstly go tailor to order white and black dinner jacket in 1967 that was good old dream?
It is rather difficult to get independent house to be rent in Calcutta and Bombay. So-called flat is getting popular in big cities, where young couple is living with their two or three children. (For your reference government slogan was also changed from edo tin baccha basf to eham do hamara dof ).
Food, clothing and shelters are considered most basic necessities of life, which changed much here in India. That means your life style has changed much.
When someone discussed on Indian economy in 1960 in Japan, they were sure to mention on Cast-system, managing agency, joint family and influence of English raj. These days nobody is taking up joint family, English raj and managing agency.

Thank to Maruti many owner-drivers are now in India. At the time of Hindustan motors, owner-drivers were seldom observed. In 1960fs Toyota sent a mission to India to make education tour to observe what is going on in Hindustan Motors, at that time Hindustan Motors are much advanced in making automobiles. Tremendous numbers of bikes of 100cc are seen everywhere in India. Now New Delhi is ranked in worst three of atmosphere in winter due to exaut gas of automobile and three wheers and two wheelers.
Many fly-overs have been made in Bombay and New Delhi. PCs are now getting usual weapons for everyday life and work in offices. Many high rising building have built. Scenery of cities has changed.

Speed of Changes

I visited Asahi Indo Safety Glass Ltd. who making glasses for automobile and met India managing director and Japanese representative. According to India MD total numbers of automobile production India will exceed ten millions in 2030, against which Japanese representative gave objection saying gyour calculation is not correct. Ten millions will be attained by 2025.h Now the production of automobile is little less than one million, within 25 or 30 years automobile production will be ten times compared with todayfs production. If an automobile is ten times, then what will be other items. Some items will be 100 times and another may same. Many an item will also be increased to tremendous numbers.

Indian market is, I think, big enough to attract many entrepreneurs to make company here. But Japanese businessman is not so eager to come to India. It is said that five to ten thousand cases of investment to China but only 200 or 300 cases to India. So my assignment to promote Japanese investment to India is getting serious issue. There are many elements to compare cases to China and to India. The system of county - democracy and communism, lawless and too much laws, politicians and bureaucrats, custom and habit of every day life, food, languages, etc. have been studied by many experienced people but no clear cut answers were obtained. Some one says there are psychological distance between two countries. I also partially agree this answer and way to shorten gap between the two is to know each other much more in every level of people - statesmen, diplomats, bureaucrats, business men, tourists, scholars, ordinary people. Considering as above, I came here today to meet you people and speak out what I thought.
Past 30years and coming 30 years is much different in speed. We must be ready for that. That is not enough, letfs join the side of making changes but not the side of waiting changes. Changes depend on you. You people will make changes and those changes must be good.

India is Unique Country

India is unique country in the world. India made epoch making history in many fields. I want to point out a few of them.
India is only an exceptional big country in the world, who did not seek for supremacy. History shows that every big country fight for hegemony from surrounding countries to make own bigger. But she did not.
Forces did not take hegemony. Indian army and other forces had been cool always and they never show interest in politics. There were numerous samples in neighboring countries.
When any country faced foreign exchange crisis all of them took action to control more severely but India solved problem to make change to liberalize the foreign exchange control.
It is said that no economic growth can be expected in developing countries when politics are not stable. India attained one of the highest economic growths when government was care-takes.
Indian wisdom, which attained above I pay respect. I hope India to be world leader in coming centuries. For that purpose some things must be changed. One of my Indian fried said to me why Indian is disliked every place in the world. I hope to have such Indian would be more.

There is only one thing common in Asia. That is, to my great regret, to be out of Asia. It is very sorrowful thing to point out this fact. There may be something else which is common in Asia, for which many European poured their power to study.

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