June 6, 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his G20 visit with wide-ranging discussions on bilateral matters – including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project and the Varanasi convention centre being built with Japanese cooperation– with ‘old friend’ Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

Japan has granted India a soft loan of Rs 79,000 crore for India’s first bullet train modeled on Japan’s Shinkansen trains. One of the most ambitious infrastructure projects carried out with Japanese cooperation is due for 2022 launch.

The bilateral meeting also discussed other important issues of mutual concern and was described as “very constructive and detailed” between ‘old friends’ by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

Both PMs would meet again tomorrow for a trilateral meeting between Japan, India & US” for further discussions on the Indo-Pacific initiative that all three countries are separately pursuing and discussing together, he added

PM’s meeting with Abe is the first of many he will hold with top global leaders outside and inside the ambit of the summit.

At the start of the meeting, Shinzo Abe congratulated PM Modi for his stellar poll victory and said that it was ‘his turn’ to visit India and he was ‘looking forward’ to it. Prime Minister Modi acknowledged that Abe was the first to call after his victory. “…you were the first friend of India who congratulated me, on phone. I also express my gratitude for the warm welcome you and Japan Government have accorded to us.”  PM said.

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