Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe took an express train from Yamanashi to Tokyo on Sunday evening after a special reception hosted by the Japanese PM in the picturesque Prefecture located close to Mount Fuji.

“After spending 8 hours together in #Yamanashi, PM @narendramodi & Japanese PM @AbeShinzo depart for Tokyo by Express Train Kaiji. Japan is India’s partner in railway modernisation, including Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Railway,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

After arriving in Yamanashi earlier today, PM Modi was hosted by Abe for a private lunch at the latter’s personal villa near Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi. The Indian PM is the first foreign leader to be invited to the villa.

Sharing a light moment from the reception, PM Modi wrote on Twitter, “Extremely grateful to PM @AbeShinzo for the warm reception at his home. I am truly honoured by this gesture. PM Abe also taught me the Japanese way of eating food using chopsticks!”

 

The Japanese PM said on Twitter that the opportunity allowed him to talk frankly about India-Japan relations in a relaxed atmosphere. Abe said that he will work closely and firmly with PM Modi for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The Indian PM is one of the 18 persons Abe follows on Twitter.

 

The Indian PM, who landed in Tokyo on Saturday night for the two-day 13th India-Japan Annual Summit, travelled to Yamanashi to meet Abe. This was the 12th meeting between the two leaders in the last four years.

Before hosting Modi at his villa, Abe took the Indian PM on a tour of the robotics and automation facilities at the FANUC Corporation in Yamanashi, which is one of the largest makers of industrial robots in the world.

Read More: PM Modi meets Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in Yamanashi

In Tokyo, Modi is scheduled to attend a community reception by the Indian diaspora in the Japanese capital before holding talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko.

The PM will then meet the heads of Japanese venture capital companies and captains of Japanese industry before attending a meeting with the representatives of the India-Japan Business Leaders Forum.

He will hold delegation level talks with Abe on Monday evening.

India is the only country with which Japan holds annual bilateral summits. The only other country with which India has a similar arrangement is Russia.

The Summit will also focus on cooperation between New Delhi and Tokyo on India’s development initiatives.

The highlight of the meeting – the fifth between Abe and Modi – will be maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region with an eye on China’s growing influence.

Reports say that India and Japan are likely to sign key agreements in maritime security and defence cooperation, including a mutual logistics support agreement.

Defence purchases from Japan will also be on the agenda. India might discuss the procurement of US-2 amphibious aircraft from Japan.

The Summit meeting comes ahead of a major joint military exercise between the militaries of India and Japan, which is to be held in November 2018 at Counter Insurgency Warfare School.