New Delhi, Tokyo sign $75 bn currency swap agreement

30 October, 2018, 10:05 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • China's Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their bilateral talks in Tokyo

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his fifth summit with his counterpart, Shinzo Abe, India and Japan concluded a $75-billion bilateral currency swap agreement, a move meant to bring greater stability to the rupee and capital markets in India.

The leaders of Japan and India are reaffirming their ties amid growing worries about trade and regional stability.

Yet as cooperation between Japan and India grows, Abe is also seeking to improve ties with China.

Modi's two-day visit is his third to Japan since November 2016.

In September past year, 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.

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.

Japan's investment in India still has room to grow.

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Mr Modi said, if people are able to see a United India now, it is entirely on account of the sagacity, sensibility, and strategic skills of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Besides meeting business leaders, PM Modi held discussions with Japanese Minister of Economics Hiroshige Seko, Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Secretary General of LDP Toshihiro Nikai, Chairman of Policy Research Council of LDP Fumio Kishida.

The two leaders have reportedly become friends, and Modi became the first foreign leader to receive an invitation to Abe's holiday home in Yamanashi near Mount Fuji, where the pair held informal talks on Sunday.

He also met Heita Kawakatsu, the Governor of Shizuoka province, and Yuji Kuroiwa, the Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture, and discussed ways to strengthen cultural and people-to-people ties between India and Japan. The two sides also signed an agreement on the implementing arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

The Japanese PM said on Twitter that the opportunity allowed him to talk frankly about India-Japan relations in a relaxed atmosphere.

Modi chose Japan among the first nations to visit after taking power four years ago. The two will reportedly ride the bullet train back to Tokyo.

Abe and Modi will likely confirm their cooperation to realise a "free and open" Indo-Pacific, a concept aimed at developing high-quality infrastructure from Asia to Africa, while promoting principles such as freedom of navigation and the rule of law.

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