On his first bilateral visit outside the subcontinent as the Prime Minister, Modi has a substantive agenda during the five-day trip which he hopes will “write a new chapter” in the bilateral relations and cooperation in the fields of defence, civil nuclear and infrastructure besides commerce.
Underlining the importance of the visit, the “excited” Modi said on the eve of the trip that Japan has “paramount importance” in his vision for India’s development and progress.
In the first leg of his visit, the PM will travel to Kyoto, the ‘smart city’ of Japan, to see the experiment there considering that he intends to build 100 smart cities in India. In a special gesture, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will fly to Kyoto to receive Modi there.
Some agreements, including in defence and civil nuclear sectors, are expected to be signed. Among the agreements to be signed is one on joint production of rare earth materials.
“I am keenly looking forward to my visit to Japan at the invitation of my good friend, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for the annual summit between India and Japan,” Modi said in his pre-departure statement.
Noting that this will be his first bilateral visit outside the immediate neighbourhood as Prime Minister, he said it underlines “the high priority” that Japan receives in India’s foreign and economic policies.
The Prime Minister said there is only goodwill and mutual admiration between the two countries. Buddhism from India has inspired Japan for over a millennium and people in India similarly draw inspiration from Japan’s vanguard role as the fountain head of Asia’s modernisation, resurgence and rejuvenation.
“The people in India are grateful for the seminal contribution made by Japan’s generous ODA over the years to India’s economic, social and infrastructure development,” he said.