Narendra Modi to hold road show with Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad

PM Modi and Japanese PM Abe Lay Foundation Stone for India’s First High Speed Rail Project			 0					By		mainlogin

The Congress on Wednesday raised questions over Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's state visit to Ahmedabad and not the country's national capital and hoped it would not be used for political purposes in view of the forthcoming Gujarat assembly elections.

Prime Minister Modi will also take Shinzo Abe for a tour around the 16th century-old Sidi Saiyyed mosque which is a part of Indo-Islamic architecture.

Both will also attend a function to mark the commencement of work of India's first high-speed rail project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. It was in 2006 that India and Japan agreed to hold annual summits between the prime ministers of the two countries.

Later on Thursday, Abe and Modi are scheduled to attend the ground breaking (bhoomi poojan) ceremony of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed railway, also known as bullet train project, a flagship programme of the India-Japan collaboration.

Abe's two-day visit to Ahmedabad comes ahead of Modi's 67th birthday on Sunday.

Abe is also seeking the adoption of Japanese technology by India's other railway systems.

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The two countries are expected to sign a series of accords, including one on maritime cooperation, during the visit, India's The Statesman newspaper reported.

The high-speed rail network would be having a capacity of 750 passengers and will cut down the journey time between the two cities Ahmedabad-Mumbai from eight to three and half hours.

In a gesture symbolising the growing ties between the two large Asiatic economies, Abe wore kurta-pyjama and a royal blue Nehru jacket while his wife donned a red salwar-kameez ensemble as they accompanied Modi on the road show from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram.

The most important ones are that yesterday ie PM Modi and Shinzo Abe are laying the foundation of the bullet train project. According to news reports from Tokyo, Japan is providing 81% of the funding for the estimated $17-billion project, through a 50-year loan at 0.1% annual interest. People cheered as the two leaders passed by in an open jeep.

The president is likely to visit Japan again sometime around the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit starting November 10 in Vietnam. It was recently announced that Japan and India would cooperate on anti-submarine warfare training and robotics research, with the details to be firmed up this week. Launched in May this year, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) is an economic cooperation agreement between the governments of India and Japan.

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