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PM Modi-Shinzo Abe summit: Defence, trade ties, connectivity on agenda

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Tokyo, Oct 28: Strengthening of ties in key areas of defence, trade and infrastructure will top the agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Japan today.

PM Modi-Shinzo Abe summit

In a special gesture, 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, which will be, perhaps, the first such reception to be extended to a foreign leader.

PM Modi arrives in Japan to attend 2-day summit with Shinzo Abe

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 which will be to boost cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, carry out joint infrastructure projects in third countries and enhancing defence ties, including launch of talks for a logistic support pact between the two navies.

Abe will take Modi 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.

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.

The PM's visit is crucial as it comes in the backdrop of both the countries working on forging closer ties in maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean and also in providing mutual logistic support in the Indo-Pacific region, the report said.

During the summit, the two leaders of Asia's biggest economies are expected to sign many MoUs on a host of issues.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, defence and connectivity with an eye on China will be top on the agenda when Modi and Abe will hold talks. An announcement regarding signing two pacts on allowing closer naval cooperation between India and Japan are likely when the two issue a joint statement.

Kenji Hiramatsu, Japan's ambassador to India, said that the special strategic and global partnership that India and Japan share is expected to get a further impetus.

"Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and development aid under Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme, of which India is the largest recipient, will be the key focus areas during the summit," Hiramatsu said.

"Trade and investment have dominated relations. Defence and security now need to catch up," the ambassador added.

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.

The two leaders are expected to deliberate on regional security issues, situation in Korean peninsula and that India will raise its concerns over terrorism.

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 as well as the Chennai metro rail project.

One of the agreements expected to sign is for second tranche of the official development assistance (ODA) by Japan for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project.

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 start-ups.

Modi will also meet the India-Japan business leaders' forum and address the honchos of the top companies.

Reportedly, both sides will deliberate on defence cooperation and that talks on a mutual logistic support pact between the two navies may start.

In the talks, the two leaders are also expected to discuss the Asia Africa growth corridor and Gokhale said something concrete may come out on it.

India is also hoping to have some kind of synergy or integration between the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which is the largest medicare programme of its kind globally, and the Japanese programme which is called Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative.

Discussions will also take place on Delhi's mass rapid transit system, some hydro electric and road projects and how Japan can help in improving infrastructure in the Northeastern states.

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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