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Modi bats for better ties with Japanese industries, rides bullet train with Abe

india Updated: Nov 12, 2016 12:38 IST
Modi in Japan

PM Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on board a high-speed bullet train.(Photo tweeted by MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for greater participation and engagement of Japanese industries on Saturday, saying it will benefit Japan and India’s micro, small and medium enterprises sector.

Addressing a luncheon gathering of business leaders in Kobe, Modi recalled his association with Hyogo Prefecture and his visits to Kobe, a city on Osaka Bay in Japan, in 2007 and 2012.

Modi, who travelled to Kobe from Tokyo in Japan’s famed high-speed Shinkansen bullet train along with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, was received at Hyogo prefecture guest house. The Governor of Hyogo Toshizo Ido and Mayor of Kobe Kyuzo Hisamaoto were present at Hyogo house.

Read: India, Japan sign landmark civil nuclear deal

An agreement has been signed between the state of Gujarat and Hyogo Prefectural Government to promote cooperation between them in the fields of academics, business, culture, disaster management and environmental protection.

“A stronger web of state and provincial connections. The leaders witness exchange of MoU of Coopn between Gujarat Govt and Hyogo Prefecture,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

Thanking governor Ido for valuable efforts two develop relations with Gujarat, Modi said ties between the two sides are characterised by complete trust and mutual confidence.

“Greater participation and engagement of industries in Hyogo will benefit Japan and India’s MSME sector for which it could prove transformational,” Modi said.

Modi said Indian community in Kobe has a long history of trade and commerce. “I congratulate all residents of Kobe on forthcoming 150 years of its port,” he said.

Train ride

Earlier in the day, Modi and Abe travelled in the Shinkansen bullet train, whose speed ranges from 240kms per hour to 320 kms per hour.

“On the way to Kobe with PM @AbeShinzo. We are on board the Shinkansen bullet train,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted along with pictures of him in deep conversation with Abe.

The construction of the high-speed train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will start in 2018 and the train service will be operational from 2023.

Abe, at a joint press conference with Modi in Tokyo on Friday, had said that the designing of the project will begin by the end of this year.

He said the ambitious project “symbolises a new dimension in the special relations” between the two countries and hoped that introduction of the rapid train network will spur further economic growth in India.

The high speed rail system ‘Shinkansen’ was introduced in Japan in 1964.

Earlier, when Modi arrived at the Tokyo Station to board the train Swarup said, “Putting #IndiaJapan relations on the fast track! PM @narendramodi and PM @AbeShinzo arrive at Tokyo Station to board the Shinkansen.” PTI PMS