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The two sides have already inked a Partner City Affiliation agreement and have agreed to convert the ancient Indian city of Varanasi into a “smart city”. Modi has promised to build 100 “smart cities” across India.
This is the Indian Prime Minister’s first bilateral visit outside India’s immediate neighbourhood. The visit is “a reflection of Japan’s paramount importance in my vision for development and prosperity in India”, said Modi in a statement before leaving New Delhi.
With trade between India and Japan at $18.51 billion, Tokyo accounts for a 2.34% share in India’s global trade with petroleum products, oil meals, marine products, gems and jewellery and iron ore being the principal commodities of export to Japan while machinery, iron & steel, electronic goods, transport equipment and project goods are the major items that India imports.
Abe, who earlier on Thursday tweeted “India has a special place in my heart”, hosted a dinner for Modi after the signing ceremony in Kyoto on Saturday.
‘I am eagerly waiting for your arrival in Kyoto this weekend. Your first visit to Japan as Indian PM will add a new chapter to our strategic partnership,” wrote Abe.
Incidentally, the Indian Prime Minister is among the three people Abe follows on Twitter. Abe is expected to urge the new Indian government to open up the world’s biggest arms market for Tokyo’s defence manufacturers.
Modi, meanwhile, has said he would discuss a roadmap for convergence of Tokyo-New Delhi’s global interests.
“I hope to discuss with Prime Minister Abe the roadmap for our global and strategic partnership in the years ahead,” said the Indian Prime Minister.
Modi has also said he would like Japanese participation in “the transformation of India’s manufacturing, infrastructure sectors, energy and social sectors”.
Modi has promised high-speed ‘bullet’ trains to voters in his election campaign.