Japan PM Shinzo Abe arrives in Ahmedabad to a red carpet welcome

Lucy Bush
September 14, 2017

He said the previous joint statements by the two countries clearly articulated the views of both.

The state's financial capital Ahmedabad, also known as "Manchester of the East", has been decked up to welcome the two leaders. The discussion will also focus on trade, defence and infrastructure. The foundation stone for the bullet train project will be laid by Abe tomorrow. He and Modi are expected to inaugurate the start of the $17 billion high-speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and sign several agreements on strategic, financial and development cooperation.

The travel time will be reduced from eight hours to a little over three hours if it stops at all stations and around two hours if it stops at only four. The high-speed rail corridor will be covering 508km with a 21km long tunnel under the sea.

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"Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes that Indian engineers have the capability and our workers have the efficiency to complete it a year earlier", he told reporters.

Abe and the first lady then took a round of different wings of the Ashram, where Gandhi lived for about 12 years with his wife Kasturba, guiding the non-violent struggle for freedom from colonial rule.

The two countries are expected to sign multiple economic deals and launch projects, including a Suzuki vehicle manufacturing plant at Hansalpur, about 170 km from Ahmedabad, through remote control. A parallel CEO conference has also been planned. Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the Japanese PM and his wife Akie Abe at the airport. Artistes performed the traditional Gujarati dance showcasing state's rich cultural traditions.

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Japanese Foreign Ministry while talking to reporters said: "We would like to support "Make in India" as much as possible".

Ahead of the Japanese Prime Minister's visit, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday said in a tweet that India truly values its ties with Japan and looks forward to further boosting the bilateral relations in a wide range of areas. Given this context, the PM taking his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to the state seems part of the BJP's all-out efforts to win the polls. As per the reports, the two leaders were carried out roadshow from the city's airport to the iconic monument of Mahatma Gandhi Sabarmati Ashram. Zealously, the Japanese PM's wife was seen capturing moments in the camera during this time.

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