Modi, Abe lay foundation stone for India`s first bullet train

Modi, Abe lay foundation stone for India`s first bullet train

Modi, Abe lay foundation stone for India`s first bullet train

The statement said that India and Japan could play a central role in safeguarding and strengthening such a rules-based order.

Among the 15 agreements signed after the annual India-Japan bilateral summit here on Thursday, one is on setting up the India Japan Act East Forum "to enhance connectivity and promote developmental projects in the northeastern region of India in an efficient and effective manner". The sale of US-2 amphibious aircraft is also likely to come up.

Speaking at the event, in the presence of Japanese PM Abe whom he described as a great friend, Modi urged Japanese businesses to invest in India and use the resources the country offers.

With defence cooperation largely limited in the area of maritime security, both countries seek to expand it.

"The Indo-Japan relationship is not just about bilateral trade". Also, India and Japan chose to drop a specific mention of South China Sea from the joint statement despite reaffirming their commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight in the India-Pacific.

Abe's two-day visit to Ahmadabad comes ahead of Modi's 67th birthday on Sunday.

Perhaps with an eye on China's String of Pearl strategy, the joint statement also calls to "strengthen trilateral cooperation frameworks with the United States, Australia, and other countries".

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An official release said India and Japan exchanged RoD (Record of Discussions) on civil aviation cooperation with respect to open sky.

"Under the worldwide relations logic of the 21st century, closer India-Japan ties won't pose grave threats to China because many of their emotional moves to console each other won't produce any real effects in challenging China".

As both sides seek to elevate the bilateral ties, enormous bonhomie has been on display since Abe's aircraft touched down on Wednesday evening with the visiting prime minister even doing a road show as he travelled to Sabarmati Ashram in an open Maruti Suzuki Gypsy shortly after his arrival. It did not make any specific reference to the disputes in the South China Sea.

The mention of increased cooperation has invited a cautious response from China.

The two Prime Ministers welcomed the India-Japan cooperation on development of India's North Eastern Region (NER) and noted the setting up of the India-Japan Act East Forum. Spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry Hua Chunying reacting to the joint statement said "that regional countries should stand for dialogue without confrontation and work for a partnership instead of an alliance".

He said that though Japan has been assisting northeastern India in road infrastructure, the intent this time was to take it to a much higher level.

The project also signals New Delhi and Tokyo's close ties amid China's growing assertiveness in the region.

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