Modi, Gujarat all set to roll out red carpet for Japanese PM Abe

Image credit: Reuters

Ahmedabad: Gujarat will roll out the red carpet for Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe who arrives Wednesday on a two-day visit during which he will lay the foundation stone for India's first bullet train project.

The twin cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, which will host a slew of programmes during the high-profile visit, are all decked up to welcome the foreign dignitary with streets shimmering in fluorescent lights, and hoardings and banners welcoming Abe dotting them.

Robust security arrangements have been put in place for the 12th Indo-Japan Summit and business meet where Japanese companies are likely to announce major investments in Gujarat.

The visit will begin today afternoon with an 8 kilometre road show where Abe will be accorded a grand welcome, officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present through the road show with Abe with people lining the streets their cavalcade would pass through. They will visit Sabarmati Ashram and iconic Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in the eastern part of the city famous for its intricate stone lattice work.

Prime Minister Modi will host dinner for Abe at a hotel in the old city area.

Ahmedabad has been recently included in the World Heritage City list. Abe will be given an overview of the heritage of the city in Modi's home state.

On Thursday, Abe and Modi will lay the foundation stone for the high-speed train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai which is expected to be completed by 2022, and is likely to traverse the distance of over 500 kilometres in around two hours.

Japan has extended a soft loan for the ambitious project conceptualised by Modi.

The two leaders will hold the 12th Indo-Japan annual Summit meeting at Gandhinagar after which agreements will be exchanged.

Later, an India-Japan business plenary meeting will be held.

"We are thankful to the Japanese PM for selecting Gujarat for his visit to India," Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh said.

Fifteen agreements will be signed for investments in Gujarat during the visit of the Japanese prime minister, he said. Abe's spouse Akie Abe will accompany him and also have a busy schedule.

She will be visiting a number of places including an NGO Blind People's Association.

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