Narendra Modi returns home after concluding successful visit to Japan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned home today after concluding his successful visit to Japan, which pledged to give India $ 35 billion over the next five years for development projects, while the two parties agreed to strengthen their strategic cooperation to a new level.

He arrived here this afternoon after a five-day trip during which he traveled to Kyoto, besides Tokyo where he spoke with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and met other leaders.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj received him at the airport here.

The two countries have signed five pacts covering defense exchanges, cooperation in clean energy, roads and highways, healthcare and women, while pledging to take their relationship to the next level.

Japan also lifted the ban on six Indian entities, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which was imposed following the 1998 nuclear tests.

During the visit, his first bilateral visit outside the subcontinent since becoming Prime Minister in May, Modi invited Japanese investment while making India a good business destination, especially for the manufacturing sector.

He told Japanese businessmen that India awaits investments with a “red carpet” and not “red tape” as the rules and procedures have been relaxed by his government.

Closing his official program yesterday, Modi expressed his gratitude to Japan for resting his “confidence” in India and showing his friendship with a quip “yeh fevicol se be zyada mazboot jod hai (this link is stronger than that of fevicol)” .

“This visit was very successful,” he said at the reception of the Indian community organized in his honor here earlier.

“We talked about billions and millions. But there was never any question of trillions, ”he said, referring to the 3.5 trillion yen (35 billion yen or 2.10 trillion yen) pledged by Japan to India through five-year public and private funding for various works, including building smart cities and cleaning up the Ganges.

During the talks between Modi and Abe, the two sides agreed to increase their defense and strategic cooperation to a new level and also decided to speed up the negotiations on the civil nuclear deal which could not be concluded now.

Finding a good personal chemistry, the two leaders had “very fruitful” exchanges.

Abe also went out of his way to receive Modi in Kyoto when he visited on August 30 on the first leg of his tour.

In Kyoto, a pact was signed under which the Modi constituency in Lok Sabha, Varanasi, would be developed on the model of Kyoto’s “smart city” with the help of Japan.

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