Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe is on a two-day visit to India, particularly Gujarat for the annual bilateral summit.

This is the fourth summit meeting between Modi and Abe. The two leaders visited the Sabarmati Ashram on Wednesday after Abe’s arrival in Gujarat in the afternoon.

Narendra Modi and Abe laid the foundation stone of the 508-km long Mumbai-Ahmadabad High-Speed Rail at the Sabarmati athletic ground in Ahmadabad today. They signed 15 agreements on strategic, financial and development cooperation.

The high-speed rail which will run at a speed of 320 kph will have 12 stations between Mumbai and Ahmadabad.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal ahead of Abe’s visit set an ambitious target of advancing the deadline for building India’s first bullet train by a year. He said that the bullet train technology would “revolutionize and transform the transport sector.” He added that the fare of the high-speed bullet train would be “affordable for all.”

One of the agreements that they had was to strengthen strategic collaboration, joint research program, and exchanges between the University of Tsukuba, Japan and Sports Authority of India. Another was the operation of an unlimited number of flights between the two countries. India and Japan seem to be strengthening defense cooperation.

Altogether, 15 agreements signed between the two countries, including in the field of disaster risk reduction, Japanese language education in India, accelerate Japanese investments and in joint research, among others.

S Jaishankar says another issue which came up during India-Japan discussions was terrorism. “Halting cross-border movement of terrorists was agreed upon. The two sides specifically agreed to cooperate in dealing with threats from al-Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and other terrorist groups.”

Both the Prime ministers called on Pakistan to bring to justice perpetrators of terror attacks including 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot attacks. They also strongly condemned  North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs

Abe reiterated strong support to initiatives like Make In India, Digital India etc; also appreciated PM Modi’s economic reforms especially GST.

In the past three years, India-Japan relations have transformed immensely.  The most important indication of this was the successful conclusion of a Civil Nuclear agreement between the two countries after difficult and sensitive negotiations. The agreement is unique since it is the first such agreement Japan has concluded with a country which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

 

 

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