Modi, Abe to kick-start India's bullet train project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Gandhinagar Bhutan India Japan Prime Ministerial Summit Chinese President Xi Jinping Kim Jong-Un

In a special gesture, Modi personally received Abe with a warm hug at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport here. In the evening both the prime ministers will pay a visit to iconic Sidi Saiyyed Mosque present at the eastern part of the city. Here in this ceremony, the discussion of ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project will take place.

When Modi came to Japan last November as part of the two countries' annual summits, he travelled by shinkansen with Abe from Tokyo to Kobe in western Japan and inspected a bullet train plant of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., a maker of shinkansen cars.

The Japnese PM, accompanied by his wife Akie Abe, is on a two-day visit to India, to attend the annual summit between the two countries.

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Mr Abe is also keen to discuss with Mr Modi upgrading "two-plus-two" security talks involving vice-foreign and defence ministers to a ministerial-level dialogue in light of Beijing's growing influence, said Japanese government sources on Tuesday. According to the reports, Japan will be providing 80 percent of the project cost as a loan to India. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe & his wife Akie Abe sign the visitor's book at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. Besides, the two leaders will visit Dandi Kutir, the museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, at the Mahatma Mandir.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has also welcomed PM Abe tweeting, "Welcome to Gujarat". The visit will begin in the afternoon with an 8-km road show by Modi and Abe, with their cavalcade heading for Sabarmati Ashram.

The Congress party on Wednesday wondered if the hosting of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad was being done with an eye on the Gujarat elections later this year. The project, scheduled to be completed on December 2023 is expected to reduce the travel distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to around two hours from the existing 7 hours. The foundation stone laying ceremony for the joint Indo-Japanese project will be held at the Sabarmati Football Grounds, on September 14th. The train is expected to run at an average speed of 250 km per hour and a maximum speed of 320 km per hour, which is more than double the maximum speed of the fastest train in India. "I am sure that the bullet train will transform the transportation sector of India in future".

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