Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Wednesday meet his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to enhance “multifaceted” relations between the two nations. Abe will hold talks with Modi for the 12th India-Japan annual Summit in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar. The timing of summit is significant as it is taking place amid rising tensions in the Far East after North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb, launched a ballistic missile over Japan, and the growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. This is the fourth time Modi and Abe will meet for the annual summit. PTI reports that the two leaders have met 10 times in the last three years, with the last being on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Hamburg in July. “The two leaders will review the recent progress in the multifaceted cooperation between India and Japan under the framework of their special strategic and global partnership and will set its future direction,” MEA was quoted as saying in a statement.
Abe is scheduled to attend the ground breaking (bhoomi poojan) ceremony of the Mumbai-Ahemdabad high-speed railway, a flagship programme of the India-Japan collaboration, marking the commencement of the project, better known as bullet train project. The two prime ministers will attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the ‘High-Speed Railway Training Institute’ being set up in Vadodara through a video link.
The two leaders are also scheduled to attend a business plenary before visiting the Dandi Kutir in Gandhinagar, which is India’s largest museum showcasing the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. New Delhi-Tokyo ties are on an upswing in a range of areas, including defence and security. Discussions on Nuclear pact, signed in 2016, and the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), launched in May this year, are also likely to figure in the discussions.