Japan government, investors watching Singur: diplomatAugust 31st, 2008 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Aug 31 (IANS) The government and investors of Japan are watching the situation at Singur where protesters have been campaigning against a Tata Motors plant, Japanese Consul General Fujio Samukawa said here Sunday and urged the West Bengal government to hold talks with agitators.”The Japan government and Japanese investors are minutely watching the Singur issue. This is a very serious situation both for West Bengal and for foreign investors. The state government and the opposition parties must sit together and negotiate the matter as soon as possible,” Samukawa told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference here.
Asked if Japan has any plans to invest in West Bengal, he said: “As it is, there are only a couple of Japanese firms here, unlike Bangalore and Mumbai. And after this Singur issue, we need time to plan our investment here.”
Fujii Tomoyuki, resident representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a governmental agency providing technical cooperation to other developing countries, echoed Samukawa’s views.
“Japan too has faced various land problems in the past, especially pollution and other environmental problems. But instead of fighting among ourselves we have worked together to solve the problem.
“West Bengal should follow Japan’s footsteps in dealing with land issues,” Tomoyuki said.
Opposition Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee kicked off an indefinite protest Aug 24 near the Tata Motors small car factory site in Singur, about 40 km from here, to demand return of 400 acres of farmland “forcibly” acquired for the project.
Tata Motors took up the project to build the world’s cheapest car Nano, priced at Rs.100,000 or about $2,500, two years back. Since then the firm has faced resistance from sections of the farmers and political parties over the farmland acquisition.