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Politics

India's Modi, Japan's Abe to meet in Tokyo on Sept. 1

TOKYO -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Japan from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, the Japanese government said Friday.

     Modi's visit will mark his first overseas trip to a major industrial country since taking office. He attended the BRICs summit in Brazil last month.

     Building on the legacy of Modi's predecessor, Manmohan Singh, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to maintain close ties with India. He called Modi, known as a Japanophile, in May -- even before the swearing-in ceremony -- to extend an invitation to visit Japan.

     Their summit is scheduled for Sept. 1, with the agenda ranging from economic cooperation to maritime security.

     Modi has positioned the development of transportation and other infrastructure as vital for economic reform in India. Tokyo apparently wants to deepen ties with Modi's government and use diplomacy to help Japanese businesses participate in such projects.

     For instance, Modi's home state of Gujarat serves as the nucleus of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, a massive infrastructure project in which Japan offers financial and technical aid. For a planned high-speed railway to connect the Gujarat city of Ahmedabad and Mumbai, Japan hopes its shinkansen bullet trains will be adopted.

     Cooperation in nuclear energy is another focal point. Japan wants to export nuclear power plant technology, but given that India has nuclear weapons and is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the reprocessing of spent fuel there poses a conundrum for Tokyo, which advocates nonproliferation.

     Modi and Abe will also discuss maritime security, with China in mind, as well as reforming the United Nations' Security Council and joint efforts to cultivate the Middle Eastern and African markets, where India has deep ties.

     China is also looking to strengthen economic ties with India, with President Xi Jinping slated to visit India as early as next month.

(Nikkei)

 

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