Modi begins Japan journey

Modi arrives in JapanIndia’s Prime Minster Narendra Modi has touched down in Kyoto to begin an event-packed five-day visit to Tokyo that is poised to pitch India-Japan relations into a higher trajectory.

Warm sentiments flowed as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted a dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister and voiced optimism about scaling new frontiers for bilateral ties.  

Modi’s much-awaited visit to Japan comes at a time when both countries are looking to enhance their economic cooperation and strategic ties to secure a better future for Asia and the world.

Mr Modi is scheduled to have wide-ranging talks with Mr Abe in Tokyo on September 1.

The talks are expected to generate substantive outcomes, which could include the signing of a defence framework agreement, the clearance of high-tech amphibious aircraft by Japan and Tokyo pledging a massive amount to bolster India’s infrastructure.  

India is seeking Japanese expertise to build 100 smart cities. It is this emphasis on smart cities that Modi has selected Kyoto as his first stop. “My visit to Kyoto reflects the ancient foundations of our contemporary relations and will also focus on some of our nation’s priorities, including urban renewal and smart heritage cities as well as advanced scientific research,” Modi had said.

Ahead of his visit, Modi had talked about how the friendship between India and Japan is umbilical and transcends history and culture. In an interaction with Japanese journalists before his visit, Modi had said that after a long time India and Japan both had stable governments, who wanted stability and economic progress.

Economically, it’s win-win relationship. Since 2012, Japan’s Prime Minister Shizo Abe has hoped to win big contracts for Japanese industrial giants like Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as part of his “Abenomics” agenda. India, on its part, is looking to boost the country’s economic growth and needs at least $1 trillion for building roads, railways and other infrastructure developmental projects.

Modi has expressed his enthusiasm of working with Japan given its technological prowess, and his great chemistry with Shizo Abe.

This will be my first meeting with Japan as prime minister. And I believe that the more deep and free flowing India-Japan relations become, the more benefits there will be for Asian countries, and, by and large, the entire world,” said Modi.

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