PM meets Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, to discuss regional security, defence ties

China's Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their bilateral talks in Tokyo

India is one of the countries that Japan has reached out to form defense partnerships, as Tokyo seeks to expand its military cooperation beyond its traditional alliance with the USA amid China's increasingly assertive military presence in the region. Modi, who was on a two-day visit to Japan, and Abe held wide-ranging talks during which they agreed to deepen economic and security cooperation, including the start of a 2+2 dialogue between the defence and foreign ministers. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep. The two leaders last met in Japan in November 2016. "After India's full accession to three worldwide export control regimes, the two leaders pledged to continue working together for India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, with the aim of strengthening the global non-proliferation efforts", the statement added. Conceptualised in July 2017 during PM Modi's official visit to the United States, the only 2+2 dialogue so far has been between the Foreign and Defence ministers of India and the US.

In September a year ago, Abe paid a visit to Ahmedabad in Modi's home state of Gujarat in western India and attended a ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of a new high-speed railway employing Japanese bullet train technology to link the city and Mumbai.

A key agenda item on Monday, according to Japan's ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu, will be an "Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement" between the two countries - essentially, a logistics agreement that will help underwrite the increasing number of exchanges between their armed forces.

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Modi and Abe reviewed progress on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project, developed in collaboration with Japan, and the countries signed an agreement on yen loan for it.

Modi urged Japan's medium, small and micro enterprises to explore business opportunities in India, promising a more conducive environment to consolidate bilateral trade ties.

In a message to top the country, PM Abe said India is driving the region and the world's prosperity as a global power. On Sunday, he was invited to Abe's vacation home at a scenic resort in the shadow of Mount Fuji.

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They also signed a second-phase agreement for a Japanese super-express railway project in India. The two leaders are set to hold a summit meeting at the office of the prime minister in Tokyo on Monday. Mr Abe's visit - the first by any Japanese prime minister since 2011 - was aimed at repairing ties that have been riven by disputes over territory, military expansion in the Pacific and World War II history.

This is Modi's third visit to Japan as prime minister.

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