Cooperation in the fields of defence, civil nuclear, infrastructure development and rare earth materials besides enhancing business ties will be high on the priority of Modi’s four-day trip during which he travel to Japan’s ‘smart city’ Kyoto and capital Tokyo.During the visit, Modi will have wide-ranging talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and meet other leaders, discusing how to take forward the strategic and global partnership.
During the visit, some agreements, including in defence and civil nuclear sectors, are expected to be signed.
“The Prime Minister’s visit to Japan will be extremely substantive… It will have wide range of events…Our expectations about the outcome are that India and Japan will be able to elevate the strategic and global partnership to a new level,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters while briefing on the significant visit.
In a special gesture, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will fly to Kyoto to receive Modi who will land there on Saturday in the first leg of his tour to study how the example of the Japanese city could be replicated in India.
Kyoto, known in local parlance as a ‘smart city’, is an example of cultural tradition and modernity, dovetailing Modi’s own vision of building 100 smart cities in the country, Akbaruddin said while explaining why the Prime Minister chose Kyoto as his first stopover of the visit.
Asked whether the civil nuclear deal would be signed during the visit, the MEA spokesman said the talks, which have been going on for the last four years, have “yielded substantive results” lately and discussions are taking place at technical level.
“We are working for satisfactory outcome for India and friends in Japan,” he added.
Replying to a volley of questions, he said the focus of the visit would to broaden the ties, seek Japan’s support in infrastructure development in India, look for new vistas for cooperation in goods and services.
Noting that the Prime Minister is keen on improving infrastructure at home, Akbaruddin said Japan figures prominently among the countries from where help could be taken to build next generation infrastructure.
In the field of defence, the two countries already have cooperation with regard to military exchanges and talks are underway for joint production of US-2 amphibious assault aircraft with the possibility of an agreement being signed during the visit.
Akbaruddin said the second meeting of a working group on this had taken place recently and “things are progressing quite well”.
The issue of Japan helping India in its endeavour to have bullet trains will also be discussed.
In the field of rare earth materials, he said the two companies involved on either side are working through nitty gritty of the commercial aspects and the deal could be signed only after this exercise fructifies.
The two countries will also set new trade targets, considering that the current level does not match their close relationship.
The two-way trade is around 19 billion dollars.
On Abe flying to Kyoto to meet Modi, the MEA spokesman said “we see this as a very special and gracious gesture”.
Akbaruddin said Kyoto, which is a heritage city with Buddhist culture, provides special symbolism to the visit as the Prime Minister has the vision of “rejuvenating” Indian cities.
Talks are already underway to see how the example of Kyoto can be replicated in Varanasi from where Modi was elected to the Lok Sabha.
Abe will host a dinner for Modi and the two leaders will have a joint public event in Kyoto.
Modi will visit Toji temple besides meeting Kyoto’s Governor and Mayor who is expected to give a presentation on how it has been maintained as a culturally-rich and enviornment-friendly modern city.
The Prime Minister will also visit the Kobe University to see stem cell research. “This will cover all the three distinct areas of the Prime Minister’s interest — civilisation aspect, environment-friendly aspect and cutting-edge research,” the spokesman said.
From Kyoto, Modi will travel to Tokyo where he will be accorded an official welcome on September one in the Akasaka Palace after which he will have detailed talks with Abe. The Japanese Prime Minister will also host a banquet for Modi who will also receive a number of Japanese ministers.
Modi will address Japan’s business community during which he is expected to lay out his vision for cooperation between the two countries. He will also call on the Japanese Emperor Akihito.
He will also visit an elementary school, considering the importance he accords to development of education in India.
AMBANI, ADANI, KALYANI TO BE PART OF PM’S DELEGATION TO JAPAN
Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani and 15 other leading industrialists will be part of the delegation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his first major bilateral visit, outside the sub-continent.
The industrialists will take part in a bilateral meeting under the aegis of India-Japan Business Leaders’ Forum (IJBLF) on September 1 which would be co-chaired by Chairman of Bharat Forge Baba Kalyani, sources said.
The meeting, coinciding with Modi’s visit, assumes high importance as the two countries are trying to forge a strong multifaceted strategic partnership with economic relations as a crucial component. Bilateral trade between the two reached USD 18.61 billion in 2012-13.
Sources said Modi keen on meeting his counterpart Shinzo Abe whose leadership he deeply respects and sees the visit as an opportunity to take ties with Japan to a new level and increase cooperation in various fields.
To leverage the ever-growing trade and investment between the two countries and for greater co-operation between their businesses, IJBLF was constituted with prominent business leaders from India as its members.
The forum has been re-constituted recently and Modi re-nominated Kalyani as the co-chair of the forum from the Indian side.
The delegation also includes Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, Essar Group Chairman Shashi Ruia, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava.
Two prominent women in the delegation will include Kiram Mazumbar-Shaw of Biocon and Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank are also on the list.
OIL India Chairman and Managing Director Sunil K Srivasatava and his counterpart in ONGC Dinesh K Sarraf would also be part of the delegation.
The members of the delegation are expected to reach Tokyo by afternoon of August 31.