Japan PM Shinzo Abe in India, Modi welcomes him with bear hug

Japan PM Shinzo Abe in India, Modi welcomes him with bear hug

Modi gave a tour of the Sabarmati Ashram and explained to the visiting dignitaries the significance of the spinning wheel, which became emblematic of India's quest for selfreliance during its non-violent struggle for freedom from imperial rule.

Modi showed them the statuettes of Gandhi's famous "three monkeys" that symbolised his philosophy of peace and tolerance, with one of them covering its eyes, the second its mouth, and the third its ears in the gesture of "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".

Following this ceremony later in the evening both the leaders will then hold the 12th India-Japan annual summit at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

The Congress on Wednesday wondered whether the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was limited to Gujarat in view of the upcoming Assembly elections.

This time PM Modi is all set to offer a grand welcome to Abe. They also made a decision to build upon their cooperation in the smart city project of India.

However, the highlight of Abe's fourth visit to India is on Thursday when the Japanese Prime Minister will lay the foundation for India's first bullet train to run between Mumbai and Sabarmati. The place has drawn many high-profile visitors and heads of states in the past too as it is the spot from where Gandhi led the Dandi march, in 1930.

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Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took part in an eight-kilometre-long road show with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a first -of its kind by a foreign leader from Ahmedabad Airport to Sabarmati Aashram located on the banks of the River Sabarmati.

During the summit with Modi later that day, Abe is likely to encourage India's introduction of shinkansen technology to other railway systems, the sources added. The Japanese leader changed into a kurta - a loose collarless shirt - and an Indian-style Nehru jacket before going on a cultural roadshow with Mr Modi.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's standing committee chairman Pravin Patel said a large number of people, including singing troupes who will be performing at 28 different locations along the route, will greet Modi and Abe.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has also welcomed PM Abe tweeting, "Welcome to Gujarat".

Modi had hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife in Ahmedabad in his home state Gujarat in September 2014.

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