Japan PM Shinzo Abe arrives in Ahmedabad to a red carpet welcome

Thursday, 14 Sep, 2017

Mr Modi, who was Chief Minister of Gujarat for 12 years before taking power at the centre, visited the mosque today for the first time, at a time India is facing worldwide criticism over alleged intolerance and amid accusations by the ruling BJP's critics of divisive politics.

"Thrilling welcome to the honoured guest".

- It was built in 1573, by in the retinue of Sultan Ahemad Shah Bilal Jhajar Khan, general in the army of the last Sultan Shams-ud-Din Muzaffar Shah III of the Gujarat Sultanate.

They would conclude with a dinner and a closed door meeting at a heritage hotel - House of MG - next to this mosque. The two leaders will also visit Dandi Kutir, the museum dedicated to Gandhi. Abe is accompanied by his wife.

During this visit, both the Prime Ministers will lay the foundation stone for India's first high-speed bullet train at a stadium near Ahmadabad's Sabarmati railway station. This will be the fourth Annual Summit between Modi and Abe, where they are expected to review the progress of the India- Japan cooperation agreements worked out under the framework of their 'Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

In their November summit, the two will re-confirm strengthening of the Japan-U.S. alliance to cope with North Korea's provocations, and deepen their cooperation in urging countries to follow through with new U.N. Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang.

"I believe that Japan-India relationship is blessed with the largest potential in the world, and I am determined that Japan and India will lead the way towards peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and the world, hand in hand with Prime Minister Modi", the PMO quoted Abe as saying in a Twitter release.

Gujarat is also setting up a second Japanese Industrial Park as Modi's home state decks up to host PM Shinzo Abe.

In December 2015, Abe visited India and Modi took him to the Parliamentary constituency he represents, Varanasi.

Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Modi would fly into Ahmedabad on Wednesday afternoon and drive down straight to Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram in the evening. It was heartening to see that Shinzo Abe and his wife dressed up in Indian attire for the roadshow. While Mr Abe is wearing a blue Nehru jacket, his betterhalf is dressed in pink salwar kameez.

This time PM Modi is all set to offer a grand welcome to Abe.

Abe was presented a guard of honour at the airport, after which artistes performed the traditional Gujarati dance showcasing the state's rich cultural traditions. The visit marks to have a discussion on an effort to cement ties between India and Japan.

Ahmedabad's rising Japanese connection has spawned around eight restaurants which serve Japanese food in and around the city.