Ahmedabad is all set to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe on Wednesday. Narendra Modi will play host to the two in his home state Gujarat, where the prime ministers will lay the foundation stone for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.

On Thursday, Abe and Modi will attend the India-Japan Annual Summit at the Mahatma Mandir after laying the foundation for the bullet train project. In 2015, India and Japan had signed a deal on India’s first bullet train.

Abe’s two-day visit to Ahmedabad will begin with a roadshow from the airport to Sabarmati Ashram. Banners saying “Welcome to the only home of Asiatic Lions”, “New India, Bright Future”, and “Welcome to India, Welcome to Gujarat” have been prepared in the Japanese Hiragana script, The Indian Express reported.

Several artistes from various states have been invited to perform on nearly 25 stages set up along the stretch where the roadshow will pass through, the Hindustan Times reported.

Heightened security

Security has been increased in Ahmedabad ahead of Abe’s visit. More than 9,000 police officers have been stationed in the city, and 2,000 others have been deployed in Gandhinagar, where the two leaders will be on Thursday.

“Of the total strength of 10,500 policemen in the city, we will be deploying around 7,000 of them, which is 70% of the total strength,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Control Room), Balram Meena, told PTI. “We will also deploy 12 companies of the State Reserve Police, bomb squads and Quick Response Teams. We have also sent a request to send a team of National Security Guard commandos.”

Leaders to visit Sabarmati Ashram, Sidi Sayyed Ni Jaali

After the roadshow, Abe and Modi will tour Sabarmati Ashram and 16th-century mosque Sidi Sayyed Ni Jaali. A vegetarian Gujarati platter awaits the Japanese prime minister and his wife at Ahmedabad’s popular terrace restaurant, Agashiye.

The Ellis Bridge has been decorated for the occasion, where the two leaders will take a walk after their dinner.