NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a three-day visit to Japan from tomorrow during which the two countries are expected to sign a civil nuclear deal besides discussing ways to step up cooperation in the areas like trade, investment and security. Modi will be holding the annual Summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and have an audience with the Emperor of Japan in Tokyo. From Tokyo, Modi, accompanied by Abe, will travel to Kobe by the famed Shinkansen bullet train, the technology that will be deployed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway, Modi said ahead of his visit. He will visit the Kawasaki Heavy Industries facility in Kobe, where high speed railway is manufactured. “I will visit Japan on 10-12 November 2016 for the Annual Summit. This will be my second visit to Japan as Prime Minister,” Modi said in a statement here today. “I will have a detailed interaction with top business leaders from India and Japan, to look for ways to further strengthen our trade and investment ties,” he said. Modi said he looks forward to reviewing the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation when he meets Abe in Tokyo on November 11. “Our partnership with Japan is characterized as a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. India and Japan see each other through a prism of shared Buddhist heritage, democratic values, and commitment to an open, inclusive and rules-based global order,” he added. During the visit, the two countries are expected to sign civil nuclear cooperation agreement which will facilitate leading US-based atomic companies to set up plants in India. The two countries had sealed a broad agreement during Abe’s visit here last December but the final deal was yet to be signed as certain technical and legal issues were to be thrashed out. Both the countries have completed the internal procedures including legal and technical aspects of the text of the pact, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said last week. When specifically asked whether the pact will be signed during Modi’s visit, he only said, “I cannot pre-judge outcome of the talks.” Negotiations for the nuclear deal between the two countries have been going on for a number of years but the progress on these was halted because of political resistance in Japan after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Japan, the only country to have been hit by atom bombs, has immense immense sensitivity on the issue and a nuclear deal with India will be significant since it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and an atomic deal with it will make it easier for US-based nuclear plant makers Westinghouse Electric
Corporation and GE Energy Inc to set up plants in India as both these conglomerates have Japanese investments. Cooperation in the fields of trade and investments and security, particularly in the context of continuing cross- border terrorism in India from Pakistan, are also expected to come up for discussions between Modi and Abe. “Today, Japan is one of the top investors in India. But many Japanese companies, which are household names in India, have been committed to the potential of Indian economy for several decades,” Modi said.