GANDHINAGAR, India--Japan and India have agreed on a broad strategy to promote development across an arc stretching from East Asia to Africa as part of moves to counter China's expanding influence in the region.

The two countries on May 24 outlined details of the proposed Asia Africa Growth Corridor designed to promote cooperation across a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure investment.

It is aimed at creating an alternative to China's so-called Silk Road initiative to promote trade and infrastructure from Asia to Europe. Beijing has also been aggressively investing in Africa.

Japan and India hosted a joint seminar during the annual meeting of the African Development Bank being held in this city in western India.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed last autumn to cooperate on infrastructure investment in the Asia and Africa regions.

The details outlined May 24 are designed to promote cooperation with nations in the region based on the basic concepts of constructing high-quality infrastructure and promoting grass roots exchanges.

In a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the African Development Bank's annual meeting, Modi said, "India and Japan (will) explore joint initiatives in skills, health, infrastructure, manufacturing and connectivity."

India has historically had close ties with Africa and many companies have moved into the African market.

Japan has thrown its support behind India's initiatives.

Kenji Hiramatsu, Japan's ambassador to India, said, "There are moves being made by Japanese companies to utilize the personnel networks developed by India to make inroads into Africa."

Not only has China made huge investments in Africa, but it has also increased its presence in the area around India through investments in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

K.V. Kesavan, a former professor of international studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said, "It is clear that in the background to Japan-India cooperation is the presence of China."