Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Modi, Abe to set 'future direction' of partnership this week: MEA

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Preston Stone | 12 September, 2017, 07:30

On Day 2, both the state leaders will visit Sabarmati railway station in Ahmedabad where they will lay the foundation stone of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor. Prime Minister Modi had visited Japan in November previous year. At their annual defence dialogue last week, the two countries had resolved to collaborate closely in defence production, including on dual use technology.

Senior government officials said Japan is increasingly becoming importance for Gujarat and India as a strategic economic partner as Japan has led FDI growth in Gujarat in recent years.

Modi and Abe will visit Ahmedabad on September 13 afternoon, following which the two prime ministers will first visit Sabarmati Ashram and before heading for a heritage hotel in the old city area.

Sources said Modi and Abe would hold talks in Gandhinagar and take part in the ground-breaking ceremony (bhoomi pujan) for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, commonly referred to as the bullet train project, which is estimated to cost Rs 98,000 crore.

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The visit's agenda includes a proposed maritime security deal promoting naval cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.

"JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) is opening a major office in the city which would be on a par with their office in New Delhi to facilitate the projects here, " an official said.

A few agreements are expected to be signed between the two countries after talks between the two leaders, Joint Secretary East Asia Pranay Verma said at media briefing about the visit.

India's traditional railway network is the world's fourth largest by distance and remains the vast country's main form of travel, with 22 million passengers commuting daily. "Discussions are clearly to begin in depth....what kind of projects and what sectors...it will be in consultation with the stakeholders, with the concerned departments of government of India as well as the northeastern states". Replying to a question on the comments of Japanese envoy to India on freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea, Verma did not give a direct answer.

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