New Delhi, Jan 5: Japan has decided to associate itself with India in developing Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi as smart cities. During a meeting of Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu with Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu here on Thursday, he said, Japan is "quite interested" in urban development initiatives of the government and decided to be a partner, an official release said.
Responding to Naidu's observation about the need for speedy action, the Japanese envoy said "We would like to match the action oriented approach of the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
Meanwhile, British High Commissioner Dominic Asquith also met Naidu and discussed converting into action the MoU signed between the two countries on cooperation in urban development sector. The MoU was signed during the recent visit of British Prime Minister Theresa May to India.
Asquith said institutionalising "Government to Government cooperation" for smart city development has huge potential. So far, various countries have come forward to be associated with development of 15 smart cities.
These include United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) for Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad, UK for Pune, Amaravati and Indore, France for Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur and Germany for Bhubaneswar, Coimbattore and Kochi.