Japanese PM Shinzo Abe receives grand welcome from PM Modi at Ahmedabad

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Today prime minister Modi and Shinzo Abe will arrive at Gujrat, Ahmedabad. He was received at the airport by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Abe was presented a guard of honour at the airport, after which artistes performed the traditional Gujarati dance showcasing the state's rich cultural traditions.

The two-day visit of Abe beginning Wednesday afternoon, will also be marked by the Annual Bilateral Summit between Japan and India.

The travel time will be reduced from eight hours to a little over three hours if it stops at all stations and around two hours if it stops at only four.

The Japanese train network is renowned for its spotless safety record, where despite high speeds, Shinkansen trains have never been involved in any accident since 1964 when they first started running.

Abe wrote a short message in Japanese - "Love and Thanks" - on the visitors' log book at the ashram. People cheered as the two leaders passed by in an open jeep. After visiting Sabarmati Ashram, both of them will take rest until evening. Japan is one of only two countries with which India has an annual summit mechanism.

The new Railways Minister, Piyush Goyal, has said that the first bullet train is expected to be functional on August 15, 2022, the day India will complete 75 years of Independence. This strategic discussion between PM Modi and PM Shinzo will definitely boost ties between India-Japan. 24 of the bullet will reportedly be imported from Japan.

The two prime ministers' meeting followed the entry into force in July of a bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, which enables Tokyo to export nuclear power equipment and technology to New Delhi.

After the laying of the foundation stone, an investment summit will also be held between the Indian side and a Japanese delegation comprising representatives from Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

To welcome the Japanese PM, two years after Modi hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping in Ahmedabad, a rare 8-Km long road-show had been planned.

Modi and Abe would then have dinner at "Agashiye" restaurant located near the mosque, Patel added.

"We do not want to transgress propriety by commenting on a state visit but it is rather quixotic that the Prime Minister of a country as important as Japan, who is nearly India's strategic partner in many respects, is strangely not even being hosted in Delhi", he said.

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