Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may travel to meet PM Narendra Modi in Kyoto on Saturday, the first day of his Japan visit, instead of waiting to see him in Tokyo on September 1.
Government sources said the plan, though not final, was possible as Abe wanted to lend a personal touch to the meeting, away from the crowded schedule in the capital.
Modi arrives in Kyoto on Saturday on the first leg of his five-day trip. He then moves to Tokyo for scheduled meetings on the following days, including with Emperor Akihito.
Kyoto was a late and somewhat surprising addition to the programme as Modi was originally supposed to travel only to Tokyo.
If it happens, the move by Abe will underscore the personal chemistry he is understood to share with Modi. The two leaders are of similar age, have right-wing views and are well liked by markets and business.
Modi’s trip is likely to include some visits to scientific laboratories in Kyoto and an interaction with business leaders in Tokyo.
The Indian PM has already been on Twitter to flag his trip, saying he is “particularly excited to meet PM @AbeShinzo” with whom he said he enjoyed a warm relationship from previous meetings, when he was chief minister of Gujarat. Modi is one of just three people Abe follows on Twitter.