Japan bows to Indian PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe hugging each other as Modi arrives in Kyoto on a five-day visit to Japan on Saturday. (PTI)
Bullet train, Smart City on Modi’s Japan agenda
- Indian PM arrives in Kyoto on a five-day visit
- Japanese PM goes to Kyoto to receive Modi
- Both PMs to begin summit talks tomorrow
Kyoto: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in this historic Japanese city on a five-day visit to the land of the rising sun. His visit is expected to see new vistas being opened in bilateral ties with particular focus on cooperation in the fields of defence, civil nuclear and infrastructure besides commerce.
On his first bilateral visit outside the subcontinent as the Prime Minister, Modi arrived at the Osaka International Airport to begin the first leg of his five-day visit to Japan.
In the first leg of his trip, he will see the 'smart city' experiment here considering that he intends to build 100 smart cities in India. He is also expected to seek expertise on Bullet trains, a promise Railway Minister Sadananda Gouda has made while presenting the railway budget. Japan is the pioneer in starting Bullet trains in 1964.
Shinzo Abe, in a special gesture, flew down to Kyoto to receive Modi. Abe and Modi hugged each other, and then fed fish in keeping with the tradition in Japan.
From Kyoto, Modi travels to Tokyo, where he would discuss with Abe the roadmap for "our global and strategic partnership in the years ahead". Both will have substantive summit meeting in Tokyo on September 1 during which the two sides will look at ways to take the Strategic and Global Partnership forward. Modi has a substantive agenda during the trip which he hopes will "write a new chapter" in bilateral ties and take the Strategic and Global Partnership to a higher level.
India is keen on early conclusion of the civil nuclear agreement with Japan, which will facilitate supply of its nuclear technology to India. The two countries have been holding talks on the issue since 2010.
With the Modi government having initiated a project for starting bullet trains in the country, that issue is also expected to engage early attention at the discussions. While the two countries have cooperation of navies that apparently share perceptions in terms of maritime security and anti-pirate operations, negotiations are underway for sale of US-2 amphibious aircraft by Japan to India.
This is Modi's third official bilateral visit after becoming prime minister in May this year. He made bilateral visits to South Asian neighbours Bhutan and Nepal after becoming prime minister.
Besides that, the only other visit he made abroad was to Brazil for the BRICS (Brazil, India, China, Russia, South Africa) summit.
Underlining the importance of the visit, the "excited" Modi said on the eve of the trip that Japan had "paramount importance" in his vision for India's development and progress. India had "great expectations" from the visit, the External Affairs Ministry has said.
Cooperation in the fields of defence, civil nuclear, infrastructure development and rare earth materials is expected to top the agenda of the discussions.
Some agreements, including in defence and civil nuclear sectors, are expected to be signed. Among the agreements to be signed is one on joint production of rare earth materials.
"I am keenly looking forward to my visit to Japan at the invitation of my good friend, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for the annual summit between India and Japan," Modi said in his pre-departure statement.