Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Tokyo late Saturday night for his two-day visit to Japan for the 13th India-Japan annual summit. The two countries are expected to engage on a range of issues including defence and regional security.
On his first day, PM Modi was hosted by his Japenese counterpart Shinzo Abe at his holiday villa near Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi. Abe, it is learnt, has never entertained a foreign leader at his private home.
PM Modi presented Abe with two handcrafted stone bowls made from rose quartz and yellow quartz stone sourced from Rajasthan, and dhurries made by expert craftsmen from Uttar Pradesh. A Jodhpuri wooden chest with traditional work was also presented. The gifts were specially crafted for the Japanese PM.
Friend, Yuujin 友人 Shinzo Abe!
PM @narendramodi is affectionately received by Japanese PM @AbeShinzo on arrival at Hotel Mt. Fuji in #Yamanashi. This is the 12th meeting between the two leaders in the last four years. pic.twitter.com/ildH8wvZbN
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) October 28, 2018
Abe said PM Modi was one of his most “dependable friends” and together with the Indian leader, he would like to strengthen bilateral cooperation to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific.
In a message published in Indian newspapers on the day of the two leaders’ summit meeting in Japan, Abe said India was driving the region and the world’s prosperity as a global power. Prime Minister Modi was an outstanding leader of his great country, the Japanese premier said. “I have always believed and stated that the relationship between Japan and India is blessed with the largest potential in the world,” he said.
Besides bilateral issues, the two leaders are expected to deliberate on a range of regional and global issues including the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
India and Japan are likely to begin negotiations over a defence pact on logistics support. This pact is key to India’s growing military cooperation, especially amid an increasingly proactive China on the Indo-Pacific. The defence pact assumes significance in light of Japan trying to improve its relations with China. The Japanese PM returned from his first ever bilateral visit to China on Saturday to host Modi.
The two leaders have returned to Tokyo after spending eight hours in Yamanashi. On Monday, PM Modi will address the Indian diaspora and attend a series of business events, and also address a business forum in Tokyo.
According to a report by PTI, Modi was quoted by Kyodo News as saying that there were no negatives in the friendship between the two nations, only opportunities waiting to be seized. “Japan is also at the forefront of engaging in our national initiatives, such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Start Up India’… Japanese investors have faith in India’s economic future, which is marked with myriad opportunities,” Modi said.
PM Modi also said that projects such as Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project and dedicated freight corridors reflect the strength of economic engagement between the two countries.
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