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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday began a two-day visit to India here with a warm hug from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who took him through a road show to Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and the iconic Sidi Saiyed mosque representing the once syncretic culture of Ahmedabad.

The two leaders took an eight-kilometre journey in an open jeep from the Ahmedabad airport to the serene environs of the Sabarmati Ashram where they along with Japan’s First Lady Akie Abe paid floral tributes to a portrait and a bust of Mahatma Gandhi.

All along the route, people lining up both sides of the road cheered and waved at the dignitaries. Abe, who landed in a suit, changed into a white churidar-kurta topped with a bright blue sleeveless jacket. His wife wore a maroon printed kurta with straight pants.

Modi took the Abes on a tour of the Ashram where the three posed for pictures, including one in front of a ‘charkha’.

After his return to India from South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi set up his first ashram at Kochrab in Ahmedabad in May 1915 but later shifted it to the banks of the Sabarmati in June 1917.

The Sabarmati Ashram was home to Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and served as one of the main centres of the Indian freedom struggle.

During Wednesday’s visit, Abe and his wife also signed the visitors’ book at the Ashram.

After spending some time there, Shinzo Abe and Akie Abe went to the Sidi Saiyed mosque in the heart of Ahmedabad, guided by Modi.

The 16th century mosque is known the world over for its window filigree work synonymous with Ahmedabad.

The Abes ended the day with a dinner at a heritage hotel, House of MG’s Aghashiye (terrace) restaurant.

Earlier in the day, breaking protocol, Modi personally received Abe at the Sardar Vallabhhai Patel International airport with a warm hug.

Abe was given a guard of honour while artistes from different parts of the country presented a variety of programmes.

The two leaders and Akie Abe then boarded an open vehicle and proceeded from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram.

On Thursday, Modi and Abe will participate in the ground breaking ceremony of the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail project at the Athletic Stadium near the Sabarmati railway station.

Thereafter, they will hold the 12th Annual Bilateral Summit in Gandhinagar following which a number of agreements are expected to be signed.

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.

Japan is one of only two countries with which India has such an annual summit mechanism, the other being Russia.

The two Prime Ministers will also attend an India-Japan Business Leaders Forum.

Also in Ahmedabad, Modi had earlier hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Highlights: 

09: 42 PM IST | With that we end the live coverage on Japan PM’s Shinzo Abe visit for Wednesday. Do join us tomorrow for more! Good Night. 

08: 30 PM IST | PM Modi, Shinzo Abe enjoy the playing of Jaltarang. 

06: 35 PM IST | PM Modi, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe & his wife Akie Abe pay visit to the the famous 16th century Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in Ahmedabad. 

05: 31 PM IST | The next destination for PM Modi, Shinzo Abe will be Sidi Siddique mosque.

05: 05 PM IST | Japanese PM Shinzo Abe & his wife Akie Abe sign the visitor’s book at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.

05:03 PM IST | PM Modi, Japanese Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Ashram. The two leaders will later pay a visit to the iconic 16th-century mosque in the old city, Sidi Saiyad Mosque.

04: 50 PM IST |PM Modi, Shinzo Abe reach Sabarmati Ashram after the completion of eight-km long roadshow from Ahmedabad airport.

04:28 PM IST | Japan PM Shinzo Abe and his wife are donning lovely Indian outfits on the roadshow. While Mr Abe is wearing a blue Nehru jacket, his betterhalf is dressed in pink salwar kameez.

04:05 PM IST | PM Modi and his counterpart Shinzo Abe begin the roadshow to Sabarmati Ashram.

03: 55 PM IST | Japanese PM accorded ceremonial reception upon his arrival at Ahmedabad airport.

 

3: 43 PM IST | PM Narendra Modi welcomes Japan PM Shinzo Abe with his signature hug.

3: 11 PM IST | PM Modi arrives at Ahmedabad airport to receive his Japanese counterpart.

(With inputs from IANS) 

First Published | 13 September 2017 3:51 PM
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Web Title: Highlights— Shinzo Abe in India: Japan PM, Narendra Modi hold grand roadshow; visit Sabarmati Ashram

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