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International Relations

India's Modi likely to visit Japan in late October

Enhanced cooperation on security and infrastructure among expected agreements

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, previously met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo in November 2016, with the two leaders visiting each other's country every other year in recent years.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan and India are arranging for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Japan late next month and hold talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, Japanese government sources said Friday.

In a planned meeting, the two leaders are expected to agree to enhance cooperation on security, the sources said.

Further economic cooperation, such as facilitating infrastructure construction across India through Japanese official development assistance, and the early start of operation of a high-speed railway line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad that employs Japan's shinkansen bullet train technology, will also be among main agenda items.

Tokyo is striving to bolster cooperation with Asian and African countries based on the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy" promoted by Abe, with the aim of keeping in check the growing maritime assertiveness of China.

Japan is hoping India will get involved deeply in multilateral relationships with nations friendly to Tokyo, including the United States and Australia, while affirming the importance of fundamental values such as freedom of navigation and rule of law.

According to the sources, Abe and Modi are also likely to discuss the potential export to India of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force's US-2 amphibious aircraft for use in search and rescue operations, expansion of the joint exercise between Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the Indian Army, and a plan to upgrade two-plus-two security talks to the ministerial level from the current vice minister level.

The two leaders have visited each other's country every other year in recent years, with Abe traveling to India last year.

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