PM Modi, Shinzo Abe visit Sabarmati Ashram

PM Modi, Shinzo Abe visit Sabarmati Ashram

PM Modi, Shinzo Abe visit Sabarmati Ashram

The two leaders waved at the crowds that lined up the streets as folk artistes performed traditional dance on 28 stages erected along the 8-km route from the airport to Gandhi Ashram.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sported a blue khaadi sleeveless jacket, a cream-coloured kurta and white pyjamas (long tunic and trousers) and accompanied his host, Indian PM Narendra Modi, on a roadshow that showcased the culture of Indian states.

They would also visit the iconic 16th century mosque in the old city, Sidi Saiyad Mosque, known for its window filigree work synonymous with Ahmedabad. Sidi Saeed was an Abyssinian who came from Yemen.

The Prime Minister took the guests on a tour of Mahatma Gandhi's ashram for almost 20 minutes, and showed them, among other Gandhi memorabilia, the spinning wheel at Hridaykunj.

Apart from laying the foundation stone for Railways Mumbai-Ahmedabad's Rs 1.1 lakh-crore bullet train project, India Japan will sign 10 MoUs when Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Gujarat along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week.

PM Modi, Shinzo Abe visit Sabarmati Ashram

New Railway Minister Piyush Goyal dismissed talk of the inauspicious period during the curtainraiser he gave at a hurriedly-called media briefing. The city has been decked up for his welcome, where he will lay the founding stone of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project along with his Indian counterpart.

Abe also wants to discuss with Modi possible Japanese exports of nuclear power equipment and technology to India now that a civilian nuclear cooperation pact between the nations has taken effect in July, they said.

During Mr Abe's visit, both leaders are expected to bolster bilateral defence and maritime security cooperation amid China's growing assertiveness in regional waters. While many have touted this as response China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR), the reality is that India and Japan began this initiative way back in 2010 to strengthen development and connectivity between Asia and Africa.

"The stand which this government has taken on the Rohingyas is totally contrary to India's traditions where we have welcomed the persecuted from any part of our neighbourhood", he said.

Japanese investment into India has surged in areas ranging from automotives to infrastructure in the remote northeast, making Tokyo its third-largest foreign direct investor. On being asked about the sale of amphibious aircraft ShinMaywa US-2 to India, Verma said, "I wouldn't really venture into prejudging on what is going to be the outcome". If the deal goes through, it would be one of Japan's first arms transfers since ending a self-imposed embargo. To cover the stretch, a total of 12 stations have been proposed which will connect through Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

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