West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s efforts to woo Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with special sweet dishes failed to get the desired result.
The CM’s wish list was endless — from funding of East-West Metro corridor to Japanese technology in disaster management and solid waste management. But, apart from a promise to triple the production at Mitsubishi plant in Haldia, very little came out of the Japanese Premier’s visit to Bengal on Thursday.
The state government left no stone unturned to show its willingness for more Japanese investments in Bengal, specially in the field of infrastructure, power and IT Hardware. The state also asked for active Japanese cooperation in the solid waste management, modern agricultural equipments and freshwater fish cultivation.
Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta wanted to draw Abe’s interest on the winds of change and how Mitsubishi had been of great help, but hardly any assurance came from Abe. However, he said that Japan would soon collaborate with IIM-C to start a new course later in the day. “I understand that Mitsubishi Corporation will triple its production by 2009 and the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, is starting a course with Japanese collaboration,” the Japanese Prime Minister said after inaugurating ‘Rabindra-Okakura Bhavan’ an Indo-Japan cultural centre at Salt Lake City.
Both Bhattacharjee and Abe did not make any media statement after the meeting. However, state PWD Minister Kshiti Goswami, who participated in the meeting, later said that “the chief minister has told the Japanese Prime Minister that Bengal’s relation with Japan dates back to the time of Tagore and we look forward to strengthening the relationship further”. Goswami said that state government has requested the Japanese premiere to extend help for infrastructure development with emphasis on the hydel electricity projects and non-conventional energy.