Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said Japan was the third-largest investor in India, sinking $4.7 billion (Rs 30,114 crore) to the country in 2016-’17 – 80% more than it did the previous financial year. “This shows how much Japan is hopeful of India’s future,” the prime minister said at a joint press briefing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Gandhinagar.
Modi invited Japanese businesses to open restaurant chains in India. He announced that the postal services in the two countries – India Post and Japan Post – would launch a “cool box service” for Japanese citizens in India who wished to “order their favourite food item” from Japan.
Modi also welcomed the 15 agreements signed between the two countries prior to the press briefing, stating that they would strengthen the partnership between India and Japan.
Thanking Modi for his hospitality, Shinzo Abe said the “strong ties” between Modi and United States President Donald Trump had helped India, Japan and the US to conduct the joint maritime exercise in Malabar for the first time. “The joint exercise will further deepen cooperation between India, Japan and the US,” he said.
Modi and Abe also called on Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2016 Pathankot attack to justice. The two prime ministers said they wanted to strengthen cooperation against threats from militant groups like the Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and their affiliates.
The two prime ministers also jointly condemned North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
Earlier in the day, Modi and Abe inaugurated the Ahmedabad–Mumbai bullet train project. The Shinkansen high-speed bullet train, which India bought from Japan, will cover the 650-km distance between Ahmedabad and Mumbai in two hours. The project is expected to be completed in 10 years.