Strengthening the ties between India and Japan even further, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe inked number of crucial agreements – ranging from defence to Civil Nuclear energy. The agreements also included building of India’s first ever bullet train network between Mumbai-Ahmedabad. The strategic pacts were inked during the summit meeting between PM Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in New Delhi on Saturday. Abe is on a three day visit to India.
The two leaders also discussed international and regional issues of mutual importance including UN security reforms.
“No friend will matter more in realising India’s economic dreams than Japan,” Prime Minister Modi said addressing the joint presser, calling Mr. Shinzo Abe “a personal friend and a great champion of India-Japan partnership”.
“No less historic is the decision to introduce High Speed Rail on Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through Shinkansen known for speed, reliability, safety,” PM Modi added.
The bullet train network will link the India’s financial hub Mumbai with Ahmedabad, the capital of PM Modi’s home state, Gujarat. Bullet train between the two cities will cut travel time on the 505 kilometre route from eight hours to around three. The approx. cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs 98,000 crore.
Talking further about the agreements reached in the sphere of security and civil nuclear energy, the Prime Minister said, “The memorandum we signed on civil nuclear energy cooperation is more than just an agreement for commerce and clean energy. It is a shining symbol of a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of a peaceful and secure world.”
In what the PM Modi described as “decisive steps in our security cooperation”, India and Japan also inked agreements concerning the Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology and another one related to Security Measures for Protection of Classified Military Information.
“This builds on our decision to expand staff talks to all three wings of the Armed Forces and make Japan a partner in Malabar Naval Exercises,” the Prime Minister said in a joint press meet with Shinzo Abe.
The two leaders also issued a joint statement on ‘India and Japan Vision 2025: Special Strategic and Global Partnership Working Together for Peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region and the World’, where they welcomed the agreement reached between the governments of India and Japan for cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy and confirmed that this agreement will be signed after the technical details are finalised, including those relating to necessary internal procedures.
PM Modi also announced the decision to extend ‘Visa on arrival’ all Japanese citizens from the 1st March 2016 “recognising” the “special relationship” between the two countries.
Lending a strong commitment that India and Japan will work together in East Asia Summit, Prime Minister Modi stressed that both the countries “stand strongly for ensuring freedom of navigation and over-flight, and unimpeded maritime commerce”.
“We believe that disputes must be resolved peacefully and that all countries must abide by international law and norms on maritime issues,” PM Modi added.
During the meet, the PM also thanked his Japanese counterpart for supporting India’s membership of the APEC. He also affirmed that India will strive for its “rightful” place in the UN Security Council.
Both, Mr. Modi and Mr. Abe are slated to visit Varanasi later in the day.
“Our remarkable relationship also has a wonderful human touch. The Kyoto-Varanasi partnership is one of its strong symbols,” PM Modi said.
Among the host of international issues, the two especially discussed North Korea’s contentious nuclear programme.
“They urged North Korea to fully comply with its international obligations, including under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and to take actions towards the denuclearising of the Korean Peninsula. They also urged North Korea to address at the earliest the abductions issue,” the statement issued on behalf of the two read.
(With inputs from the PTI)