The streets of Ahmedabad came alive with song-and-dance performances, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe held an eight-km road show on Wednesday.
Abe’s three-day visit will bring the famed Shinkansen — Japanese bullet train — to India. The project is expected to reduce the travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad from seven to just two hours by 2023. About 80 per cent of the project would be funded by the Japan Investment Cooperation Agency.
But beneath the cultural performances and infrastructural pacts, it’s deep and shared concern over China’s ‘assertiveness’ in the region that brings India and Japan together, said the Japanese media.
“Amid China’s assertive activities in the East and South China seas, as well as the Indian Ocean, Modi and Abe are expected to affirm the importance of promoting collaboration in fields like defence equipment and trilateral joint drills, involving the US, Japan and India,” reported the Nikkei Asian Review.
Discussions on India’s long-pending proposal to buy US-2 ShinMaywa amphibious aircraft from Japan are likely, said sources. The leaders, they said, may also continue talks on co-production of military equipment that was mooted during the India-Japan annual defence ministerial meet in Tokyo earlier this year.
The nations are also likely to enhance their cooperation in non-energy areas of the nuclear sector, a senior government official was reported as saying by news agency PTI.
Stronger defence ties amid China threat
The PMs are likely to discuss bolstering of defence ties amid China’s growing assertiveness in the region. There may be talks on India’s proposal to buy the US-2 amphibious aircraft from Japan and joint development of military gear.
Boost for nuclear co-op in non-energy areas?
The countries may enhance cooperation in non-energy areas of the nuclear sector, an official said, adding that there could be negotiations on having a Japanese credit-line to procure equipment for building nuclear power plants in India