Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Yamanashi, 127 km west of Tokyo, on Sunday, a day after arriving in Japan for the two-day 13th India-Japan Annual Summit.
The Japanese PM accorded a warm reception to his Indian counterpart at Hotel Mount Fuji in Yamanashi. Upon arriving at the hotel, PM Modi hugged Abe in a gesture that showed the deep personal friendship between the two world leaders.
“Delighted to meet PM @AbeShinzo in the picturesque prefecture of Yamanashi,” tweeted Modi.
Raveesh Kumar, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, said that this was the 12th meeting between the two leaders in the last four years.
“A relationship built on strong foundation of spiritual affinity & deep civilizational ties. PM @narendramodi and Japanese PM @AbeShinzo take a stroll in the garden. Ties that are as warm and natural as the personal chemistry between the two leaders,” tweeted Kumar.
After the exchange of pleasantries, Abe and Modi visited the FANUC Corporation in Yamanashi.
FANUC Corporation is one of the largest makers of industrial robots in the world. The two leaders toured the robotics and automation facilities.
Kumar said that the visit to the robot manufacturing facility marked a step towards taking India-Japan cooperation into modern and advanced technologies.
In a special gesture, PM Modi will be hosted by Abe for a private dinner at his holiday home in the picturesque Yamanashi Prefecture. According to reports, it is the first time that the Japanese Prime Minister is extended such a reception for a visiting head of the government of a foreign country.
The Indian PM landed in Tokyo on Saturday night at around 10.30 pm JST (7 pm IST) for the two-day bilateral meeting with Abe.
“Landed in Tokyo. I am confident this visit will add new vigour to the strong friendship between India and Japan,” tweeted the PM immediately upon landing in Japan.
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.
“PM @narendramodi arrives in #Tokyo to a warm welcome for his 5th Annual Summit with @AbeShinzo. Japan is one of the few countries that India has this mechanism of annual summits, reflecting the extraordinary depth of our engagement,” tweeted MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
The Summit will also focus on cooperation between New Delhi and Tokyo on India’s development initiatives.
The two leaders are set to travel together to Tokyo on Sunday night by train where PM 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.