Japan PM begins India journey

Abe in India


Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touched down in India on December 11 to begin a three-day visit that is expected to upscale economic relations and bring Asia’s two leading democracies in a tighter strategic embrace. Showcasing his personal bonding with the Japanese leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed him in a series of tweets, describing Mr Abe as “a phenomenal leader and a great friend of India.”

“India is all set to welcome its great friend & a phenomenal leader, PM @AbeShinzo. His visit will further deepen India-Japan relations.” He also appreciated Mr Abe’s description of India-Japan relations in a column penned by the Japanese leader in the Times of India on December 11. In the speech entitled “Confluence of the Two Seas” I stated, “The Japan-India relationship is blessed with the largest potential for development of any bilateral relationship anywhere in the world,” Mr Abe wrote.

The growing partnership between Asia’s second and third largest economies is playing an important role in the changing geopolitical landscape of the Asia-Pacific region. During Mr Abe’s visit, India and Japan are expected to seal a formal pact on the Bullet Train Corridor between Ahmadabad and Mumbai. Japan has won the contract to make India’s first bullet train.

The two sides are likely to make tangible progress in concluding a civil nuclear deal, which is expected to transform the India-Japan relations and pitch it onto a higher trajectory.  An agreement on the sale of Japanese ShinMaywa US-2 seaplanes to India is also expected during Mr Abe’s visit.  The two sides are also looking to expand cooperation in renewable energy, infrastructure and education collaboration.

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