Japan has signed off on the first of several yen loans to India to help finance the construction of the country’s new high-speed rail network.
Officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, and the Indian government attended a ceremony in New Delhi on Friday. They signed documents concerning the initial provision of a loan worth about 787 million dollars.
India is aiming to start services along the 500-kilometer rail system between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, in the country’s west, in 2023. The network will use Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train technology.
Japan will provide up to 12.8 billion dollars in yen loans in stages for the 15.8-billion-dollar project.
The Indian government is set to acquire land and begin full-fledged construction by the end of the year.
Katsuo Matsumoto, head of JICA’s India office, says the introduction of the “safe and punctual” Shinkansen trains should spur the movement of people and goods and aid regional growth.