Modi, Abe seal his­toric N-deal, put bul­let train project on track

Ja­pan to loan $12 bil­lion for Mum­bai-Ahmed­abad high-speed train; 16 agree­ments signed

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Jayanth Ja­cob jayanth.ja­cob@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Ja­pan and In­dia on Satur­day con­cluded ne­go­ti­a­tions for a land­mark civil nu­clear pact and Tokyo agreed to give a $12 bil­lion loan for the coun­try’s first high-speed train in a big boost to the ties be­tween Asia’s sec­ond and third largest economies.

The an­nual sum­mit meet­ing be­tween Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Shinzo Abe also paved the way for In­dia get­ting Ja­panese de­fence tech­nolo­gies and equip­ments and co­or­di­nat­ing their shared po­si­tion on the con­tentious South China Sea is­sue.

Once signed, the nu­clear deal will make it pos­si­ble for US firms GE and West­ing­house to in­vest in In­dia be­cause their strate­gic Ja­panese part­ners like Hi­tachi and Toshiba aren’t al­lowed to trade with coun­tries that do not have a civil­ian nu­clear agree­ment with Tokyo. As they talked busi­ness, the two lead­ers also lav­ished praises on each other, Abe us­ing the metaphor of his coun­try’s iconic Shinkansen bul­let train ser­vice – high speed, safe and re­li­able -- to de­scribe the eco­nomic poli­cies of Modi.

Modi re­turned the com­pli­ment by say­ing, “No friend will mat­ter more in re­al­is­ing In­dia’s eco­nomic dreams than Ja­pan” af­ter their hour-long sum­mit fol­low­ing which the two coun­tries signed 16 agree­ments.

Later, the bon­homie be­tween the lead­ers were in full dis­play at the his­toric city of Varanasi, the Lok Sabha con­stituency of Modi, where Abe was wit­ness to a daz­zling dis­play of the Ganga aarti at the Dashash­wamedh ghat.

For In­dia, the big­gest achieve­ment was the “agree­ment” for the civil nu­clear pact which came af­ter more than five years of pro­tracted ne­go­ti­a­tions. Once the pact is vet­ted by le­gal and tech­ni­cal teams of the two coun­tries, it will head for ap­proval from the par­lia­ment in Ja­pan.

CON­TIN­UED ON P8

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