PM Modi pitches for stronger India-Japan ties, says bullet train project example of mutual respect "There was a time when we were collaborating in building cars and today we are collaborating in building a bullet train," said Modi, who is here to attend the G20 Summit to be held in Osaka from Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Japanese counterpart in Osaka. (Source: Narendra Modi Twitter)
Pitching for stronger ties between India and Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said Japan has an important place when it comes to India’s relationship with the world because there’s a sense of belonging, goodwill and respect for each other’s culture. While addressing the Indian diaspora at Kobe in Japan, PM Modi highlighted how this goodwill and mutual respect between the two countries translated into the manufacturing of bullet trains for India.
“When it comes to India’s relationship with the world, Japan has an important place in it. This relationship is dated back to centuries. There is a sense of belonging, goodwill and respect for each other’s culture and civilization. There was a time when we were collaborating in building cars and today we are collaborating in building a bullet train,” said Modi, who is here to attend the G20 Summit to be held in Osaka from Friday.
India is planning to run its first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad with Japan’s assistance. The first stretch of the ambitious project is expected to be completed by 2022. The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHRSCL) is in the process of acquiring land for the 508-km project.
Thanking the Indian diaspora for playing a vital role in the recently-concluded Indian elections, in which Modi was voted back to power with stronger mandate, the prime minister said while several Indians from Japan came to India and worked on the field, many used social media like Twitter to spread the message of the democratic process.
He noted that 61 crore voters, 10 lakh polling stations, over 40 lakh EVMs and more than 8,000 candidates took part in the world’s largest democratic process.
Modi also referred to the time when India-Japan ties reached a new high under former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure. “Almost two decades ago, prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the then Japanese premiere Yoshiro Mori together made our relationship as a global partnership. After becoming Prime Minister in 2014, I got a chance to strengthen our friendship with my dear friend Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “This relationship,” Modi said, “will become stronger in New India”.
The bilateral ties, Modi said, are going to become more robust as India aims to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next five years.
The Prime minister also noted the contribution of Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Justice Radhabinod Pal and many other Indians in strengthening India’s relationship with Japan.
“Government with majority is an advantage in foreign relations…The mandate (given to us) to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of new India will give a fillip to our relations with the world. The mantra of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwaas’ that we are following will help strengthen the world’s trust on India,” Modi added.
Ahead of the G-20 summit, US President Donald Trump has apparently set the tone for what seems to be a stormy session as he lashed out at friends and foes alike over trade tariffs and foreign policy. The long-running US-China trade war looked set to dominate the two-day meeting of world leaders in Osaka from Friday but clashes also loomed over climate and hotspots including North Korea and Iran.
Without mincing his words, Trump also categorically chided long-standing ally India for “unacceptable” tariffs on American goods. “India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn,” tweeted Trump.