Sushma Swaraj meets Japanese PM

New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday following his arrival here on a three-day official visit.

“Carrying forward a positive legacy of friendship and cooperation. EAM @SushmaSwaraj calls on Japense PM @Abe Shinzo,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.

Abe’s visit comes amid expectations that an agreement would be firmed up on India’s first bullet train to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and over progress in the talks on a civil nuclear deal.

Abe was received at the airport by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha.

Abe will hold the annual summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, following which the two leaders will issue press statements.

He will call on President Pranab Mukherjee, address the Japan-India Innovation Seminar, and also meet business leaders.

Another highlight is the Japanese prime minister’s trip to Varanasi on Saturday where he will attend the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat. Abe will be taken by Modi to Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency.

At the last summit meeting held in Tokyo in 2014, the two prime ministers agreed to elevate the bilateral relationship to “special strategic and global partnership”.

Modi and Abe also met last month on the sidelines of the 13th Asean-India Summit at Kuala Lumpur and again during the Paris climate change conference.

Abe, who met Modi over lunch at Kuala Lumpur, had said that India-Japan relationship has the greatest potential of any bilateral relationship in the world.

The proposed bullet train line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad would cost Rs.98,000 crore, according to a joint project feasibility study, co-financed by the Indian Railways and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

There are also speculations over a civil nuclear deal for which negotiations have been going on.

India sees Japan as an important player in the nuclear energy sector with major Japanese firms manufacturing components for related equipment.

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