September 13, 2017 11:20 am JST

Abe leaves for India for talks with Modi, new railway event

Two leaders expected to reaffirm ties in face of China's growing assertiveness

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves before his departure for India at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo on Sep. 13. (Photo by Maho Obata)

TOKYO ( Kyodo) --  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday departed on a three-day trip to India, where he is expected to discuss with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi how to bolster bilateral defense and maritime security cooperation amid China's growing assertiveness in regional waters.

During his stay in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, Abe is also scheduled to attend a ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of a new high-speed railway employing Japanese bullet train technology. Ahmedabad is located in Modi's home state of Gujarat, where he served as chief minister.

"I want us to take a big step so that this 'shinkansen' project, which heralded the start of Japan's own rapid economic growth, will serve as a spark for further growth in India," Abe told reporters before leaving Tokyo's Haneda airport.

Amid China's assertive activities in the East and South China seas as well as the Indian Ocean, Abe and Modi are expected to affirm the importance of promoting collaboration in such fields as defense equipment and trilateral joint drills involving the U.S. Navy, Japanese government officials said.

During the two prime ministers' meeting on Thursday, officials say Abe will likely take up the issue of North Korea, which has continued to act provocatively, recently conducting a sixth nuclear test and continuing to launch ballistic missiles.

The Japanese leader's visit to India comes days after the U.N. Security Council approved a new sanctions resolution to impose the first restrictions on exports of crude oil and petroleum products to Pyongyang.

On the economic front, the two leaders are likely to confirm their collaboration on infrastructure building in India and assistance for Japanese companies to make inroads in the world's second-most populous country, the officials said.

Ahead of the talks, Abe is scheduled to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway Project that will use Japan's "shinkansen" bullet train technology.

India aims to start operations of the 500-kilometer railway between the two western cities by 2023.

Abe seeks the adoption of Japanese technology in other railway systems in the South Asian country as New Delhi also plans to build high-speed railways connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

Get Insights on Asia In Your Inbox

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Get your first month for $0.99

Redeemable only through the Subscribe button below

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

Resubscribe now to continue reading.
BEST OFFER:
Only US$ 9.99 per month for a full-year subscription

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

We could not renew your subscription.
You need to update your payment information.