India and Japan are in talks to collaborate on upgrading civilian infrastructure in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
India will for the first time accept foreign investment in the A&N islands.
1. The A&N Islands are seen as a critical asset to counter China’s efforts to expand its maritime reach into the Indian Ocean.
The A&N Islands are northwest of the Strait of Malacca, offering control of a so-called choke point that is important for China’s trade and free movement of China’s naval ships.
2. The new collaboration will also push India-Japan relations. Japan is also funding a $744 million road building project in the north-eastern Indian border region covering Mizoram, Assam and Meghalaya.