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Shinzo Abe in India: Citing Nehru, Japanese PM resolves to be ‘friend of India forever’

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his resolve to be a friend of India forever, citing the way his grandfather, the first Japanese Prime Minister during his visit to India was moved by the then Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru after World War II.

The Prime Minister of Japan even stated that Japan and India share a longstanding friendship and aspiration to achieve a prosperous future. He added, those of you who are here today will turn a new chapter in the history of our friendship.

Indian Prime minister reciprocated the sentiment in his speech stating that his personal engagement with Japan is now decade-old. He even recalled that when he first visited Japan as Chief Minister of Gujarat he wanted to see a mini Japan in Gujarat.

This has become a reality, as so many friends from Japan are happily living and doing business in Gujarat.

Key takeaways from the visit:

  • The foundation stone of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project, popularly known as the bullet train was layed in Ahmedabad. Why the project is a giant leap in terms of technology:
    • Attractive low-cost long-term financing
    • Stimulus for advanced components’ manufacture and construction
    • Professional capacity-building, A dedicated High Speed Rail Training Institute is being developed at Vadodara
    • Cutting edge operational technology, the Shinkansen technology is renowned for its reliability and safety
  • Indo-Pacific strategic intent deepened :
    • It encompasses connectivity projects, accessing markets, linking Asia to Africa, development of India’s Northeast states and a renewed focus on resource-rich countries in the African region
    • There will be greater synergy between India’s Act East Policy and Japan’s Indo-Pacific plans besides two countries aligning their Africa strategic in a mutually beneficial manner
    • The cooperation could counter China’s One Belt One Road initiative

The growing convergence between India and Japan on strategic and economic issues has the capacity to stimulate the global economy. A strong India and a strong Japan will also be a stabilising factor for Asia and the world.

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