New Delhi: India and Japan are scheduled to implement a comprehensive free trade agreement from August 1 to boost bilateral trade between the countries to USD 25 billion by 2015.

Under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was signed in February, the two major Asian economies will eliminate import duties on 94 per cent of their trade items in ten years.

"CEPA is going to come into force from August 1. Japanese Parliament, Diet, has approved the agreement," Japanese Ambassador to India Akitaka Saiki said here at a function of the 'Observer Research Foundation'.

He said India will remove duties on products like diesel engines, steel products and electronic items like DVD players and video cameras.

"Japan will be liberalizing duty on fruits, sweet corn, strawberries and peaches in the next 7-10 years," Saiki said.

The ambassador said the pact will improve two-way trade and also boost investment between the nations.

The pact will also provide access to Indian professionals like accountants, researchers, yoga and English teachers and management consultants to the Japanese market, which is grappling with an ageing population.

Through this agreement, both sides aim to double bilateral trade to USD 25 billion by 2015 from USD 12.35 billion at present.

India has already entered into a similar pact with Singapore and South Korea.

Further, he said that India has been the number one recipient of aid from Japan and despite the recent earthquake and tsunami, "we are committed to carrying out flagship projects like Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor", he added.

The USD 90 billion DMIC project planned in 2006 and comprising six states -- Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh -- is being developed in collaboration with Japan as a manufacturing and trading hub.

On the issue of import of food products in the wake of the recent radiation leaks from a quake-hit nuclear plant at Fukushima, in Japan, he said: "Food products have to go through rigid food safety tests. (Our) government is encouraging not to hesitate to buy food items from Japan".

(Agencies)