Defence takes centre stage in India-Japan ties

Valery Sharifulin  TASS Host

The annual India-Japan Summit is set to begin on Wednesday in Gandhinagar, the capital of the prime minister's home state Gujarat.

Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe to kick-start India's first bullet train.

After arriving on Wednesday afternoon, the two leaders will take part in a cultural roadshow-a pageantry running 8km from Ahmedabad airport to Sabarmati Ashram.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's standing committee chairman Pravin Patel said a large number of people, including singing troupes who will be performing at 28 different locations along the route, will greet Modi and Abe.

"I think for such low expenditure we are not only getting this huge system, but also modern technology which will provide lakhs of jobs in India".

Defence is emerging as a major area of partnership between a hitherto pacifist Japan and an emerging India that is seeking state-of-theart technology.

The two leaders will hold the 12th Indo-Japan annual Summit meeting at Gandhinagar after which agreements will be exchanged.

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The bullet train will be India's first, between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and will cut travel time between the two cities from 7-8 hours to a little over two hours.

The cities of Gandhinangar and Ahmedabad have been decked up with hoardings and cut-outs welcoming PM Abe. On Thursday, Modi and Abe will perform the groundbreaking ceremony of the bullet train from at the athletics ground near Sabarmati railway station.

The next halt will be at the Sidi Saiyad Mosque, a 16th century monument known for its stone lattice work.

The high-speed rail network would be having a capacity of 750 passengers and will cut down the journey time between the two cities Ahmedabad-Mumbai from eight to three and half hours.

Mr. Abe will visit the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi at Dandi Kutir. The nuclear pact, signed in November 2016, is expected to help foreign players build atomic power reactors in India with equipment from Japan.

France's Emmanuel Macron discussed increased pressure and sanctions on North Korea on the telephone with U.S President Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the French president's office said on Saturday. The two men "condemned North Korea's continued destabilizing and provocative actions, confirmed the two countries' ironclad mutual defense commitments, and pledged to continue close cooperation", the White House said in a readout of the call provided to reporters.

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