Narendra Modi on 2-day visit to Japan from October 28, Shinzo Abe to host private dinner at his holiday home

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New Delhi | Published: October 25, 2018 9:21:42 PM

In a special gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hosted by his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe for a private dinner at his holiday home in the picturesque Yamanashi prefecture on October 28.

narendra modi, Narendra Modi in Japan, Shinzo Abe, Shinzo Abe private dinner, Yamanashi prefecture, Vijay Gokhale, india newsPrime Minister Narendra Modi. (Reuters)

In a special gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hosted by his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe for a private dinner at his holiday home in the picturesque Yamanashi prefecture on October 28, perhaps the first such reception being extended to a foreign leader. Modi will pay a two-day visit to Japan from October 28-29 to hold the annual India-Japan summit with Abe. The focus of the visit will be to further expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, carry out joint infrastructure projects in third countries and further boost ties key sectors like defence and trade.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, briefing reporters on Modi’s visit, said Abe will take his Indian counterpart to his personal home in Yamanashi for a private dinner on Sunday following which both the leaders will travel to Tokyo by train. Yamanashi, at a distance of around 110 KM from Tokyo, is surrounded by several mountains including Mount Fuji — the country’s tallest peak at around 3,776 metres.

“This is very special gesture PM Abe is making. We believe this is the first time a foreign leader is visiting PM Abe’s holiday home,” Gokhale said, referring to the dinner for Modi. In the afternoon of Sunday, Abe will host an informal lunch for Modi at a hotel, with view of Mount Fuji, and both the leaders will take a stroll at the grounds of the hotel. Then they will visit a company which is a leading manufacturer of factory automation, Gokhale said, adding Abe has taken personal interests in working out the programme for Modi’s visit.

On Monday evening, Modi and Abe will hold wide-ranging talks with a focus on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concerns which will include exploring ways to deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, boosting defence and security ties and undertaking infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa in a trilateral framework. “It goes without saying that Indo-Pacific will be major topic for discussion between both the leaders,” said the foreign secretary.

He said there will be discussions on how the two countries can collaborate in the context of the Indo-Pacific in Asia and Africa on capacity building and on infra projects in a trilateral manner. “In other words it will be India, Japan plus one.” He said there are commonalities between vision by Modi and Abe on the Indo-Pacific.

Gokhale said the two leaders are expected to deliberate on regional security issues, situation Korean peninsula and that India will raise its concerns over terrorism. He said the two leaders are also likely to deliberate on implementation of the dedicated freight corridor, the Delhi Mumbai industrial corridor, Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project. One of the agreements expected to be signed is for second tranche of the official development assistance (ODA) by Japan for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project, said the foreign secretary.

On Monday morning, the prime minister will address the Indian community in Tokyo. A number of Japanese leaders including Foreign Minister Taro Kono will also call on the prime minister. Then Modi will participate in a series of business events which will include meeting with top executives of Japanese venture capital companies and attending launch of a grand start-up challenge, a new programme which encourages Indian and Japanese startups, said Gokhale. Modi will also meet the India-Japan business leaders’ forum and address the honchos of top companies.

“The visit is characterised both by the special strategic and global partnership that we established with Japan and by the personal relationship the prime minister has evolved with his counterpart PM Abe of Japan,” said Gokhale. He said the focus of the visit will be to how India leverage Japan as a development partner for its economic modernisation and flagship development projects. After talks between the two sides, Abe will host a state banquet in honour of Modi. The prime minster will leave for India after the banquet. Japanese emperor Akihito will not be in Tokyo during Modi’s visit and that is why there would be no meeting between the two.

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