AHMEDABAD: Japanese Consul General Ryoji Noda said here today that India's first high-speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad should be completed by 2023.
Noda, Consul General, Consulate of Japan in Mumbai, said both Japan and India were global and strategic partners and this relationship has further strengthened after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Gujarat in September last year.
"Last year in September, our PM Abe and Mrs Abe visited Gujarat. Both Abe and (Indian PM) Narendra Modi also inaugurated the high-speed train project, which would connect Ahmedabad and Mumbai in just two hours. This project should be completed by the end of 2023," Noda told reporters here today.
In September last year, Modi and Abe had laid the foundation of the high-speed rail project, commonly known as Bullet Train project, between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Noda was in the city to present the 'Order of the Rising Sun', conferred by the Emperor of Japan, to city-based tax consultant Mukesh Patel, who is the president of Indo-Japan Friendship Association.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the function, Noda also said they were promoting Japan as a tourist destination among Indians, as "very few people" from India visit his country as compared to those from China.
"We are promoting our tourism among Indian people, as there is a huge gap between those coming from China and those from India to our country. While around 2.6 million Chinese tourists visit Japan (every year), only 1,20,000 come from India," he said.
"By 2030, over 50 per cent of Indian population will be of middle-income group. Therefore, we see a great potential.
To attract more Indian tourists, we are trying to soften our visa process. We have recently introduced multi-visa system to encourage Indians (to visit Japan)," Noda said.