Gujarat: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and PM Narendra Modi on Thursday participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony of the much-touted Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train at Sabarmati Athletic Grounds near Sabarmati railway station.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Union Railway Ministry have already inked a Memorandum of Understanding for the 508-km corridor, with Japan to partially fund the entire project.
With capacity to accommodate 750 people, the bullet train is expected to reduce travel time between the two cities from seven to roughly three hours. The train project, which is expected to be commissioned by the year 2022, will have a dozen halts. A 21-km-long tunnel will be dug between Boisar and BKC in Mumbai, seven km of which will be under sea.
The next schedule of the two dignitaries would be the the 12th India-Japan Annual Summit at the sprawling auditorium complex Mahatma Mandir in state capital Gandhinagar. This will be the fourth annual summit between Modi and Abe, where they are expected to review the progress in the multifaceted cooperation between India and Japan under the framework of their 'Special Strategic and Global Partnership'. The summit comes amid rising tension in the region following a nuclear test by North Korea and new Chinese aggressiveness in the South China Sea.
The two countries are expected to sign multiple economic deals and launch projects, including a Suzuki car manufacturing plant at Hansalpur, about 170 km from Ahmedabad, through remote control. A parallel CEO conference has also been planned.
The two Prime Ministers will also visit Dandi Kutir, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, at the Mahatma Mandir.