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Modi, Abe to kick-off bullet train project, Rs 5-lakh cr investments today

Modi and Abe will also hold the 12th Annual India-Japan Bilateral Summit in Gandhinagar

Agencies  |  New Delhi | Ahmedabad 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, at Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad. Photo: PTI

Japanese Prime Minister and Prime Minister will on Thursday participate in the ground breaking ceremony of the Rs 1.08-lakh crore ($17 billion) Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project near the Sabarmati railway station in Ahmedabad.

As reported earlier, while Abe is in Ahmedabad for the foundation stone laying ceremony for India's first high-speed train project - popularly called the bullet train - between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, around 15 MoUs are expected to be signed on September 14 at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. Of this, four Japanese corporate giants are expected to sign investment proposals worth Rs 1 lakh crore each. In all, the total investment amount, including SME investments and the bullet train, is expected to cross Rs 5 lakh crore.

Here is Modi and Abe's agenda for Thursday

  • On Thursday, Modi and Abe will participate in the ground breaking ceremony of the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail project at the Athletic Stadium near the Sabarmati railway station

  • Thereafter, they will hold the 12th Annual India-Japan Bilateral Summit in Gandhinagar following which a number of agreements are expected to be signed

  • This will be the fourth annual summit between Modi and Abe, where they are expected to review the progress in the multifaceted cooperation between India and Japan under the framework of their Special Strategic and Global Partnership. Japan is one of only two countries with which India has such an annual summit mechanism, the other being Russia

  • The two Prime Ministers will also attend an India-Japan Business Leaders Forum

Hugs and road shows

The Japanese Prime Minister on Wednesday began a two-day visit to India here with a warm hug from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who took him through a road show to Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram and the iconic Sidi Saiyed mosque representing the once syncretic culture of Ahmedabad.

The two leaders took an eight-kilometre journey in an open jeep from the Ahmedabad airport to the serene environs of the Sabarmati Ashram where they along with Japan's First Lady Akie Abe paid floral tributes to a portrait and a bust of Mahatma Gandhi.

All along the route, people lining up both sides of the road cheered and waved at the dignitaries. Abe, who landed in a suit, changed into a white churidar-kurta topped with a bright blue sleeveless jacket. His wife wore a maroon printed kurta with straight pants.

Modi took the Abes on a tour of the Ashram where the three posed for pictures, including one in front of a 'charkha'.

After his return to India from South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi set up his first ashram at Kochrab in Ahmedabad in May 1915 but later shifted it to the banks of the Sabarmati in June 1917.

The Sabarmati Ashram was home to Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and served as one of the main centres of the Indian freedom struggle.

During Wednesday's visit, Abe and his wife also signed the visitors' book at the Ashram.

After spending some time there, and Akie Abe went to the Sidi Saiyed mosque in the heart of Ahmedabad, guided by Modi.

The 16th century mosque is known the world over for its window filigree work synonymous with Ahmedabad.

The Abes ended the day with a dinner at a heritage hotel, House of MG's Aghashiye (terrace) restaurant.

Earlier in the day, breaking protocol, Modi personally received Abe at the Sardar Vallabhhai Patel International airport with a warm hug.

Abe was given a guard of honour while artistes from different parts of the country presented a variety of programmes.

The two leaders and Akie Abe then boarded an open vehicle and proceeded from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram.

Also in Ahmedabad, Modi had earlier hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping.

India, Japan may step up nuclear cooperation in non-energy areas

India and Japan may enhance their cooperation in non-energy areas of the nuclear sector, a senior government official said on Wednesday, ahead of the delegation level talks between the prime ministers of the two countries.

The official, however, said there are little chances of an agreement to procure equipment from Japan for building nuclear power plants in the country as talks with French company EDF and American nuclear giant Westinghouse Electric Company are ongoing in this regard.

There is, however, a possibility of negotiations to have a Japanese credit-line in the future for procuring these high-end equipment, he said.

Non-energy areas include nuclear medicine, irradiation, and research and development in the atomic sector.

First Published: Thu, September 14 2017. 08:56 IST