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India, Japan fast-track ties with bullet train, civil nuclear deal


India and Japan on Saturday inked a number of key agreement ranging from defence, nuclear energy and transportation. One of the pacts was on India's first bullet train network, which will come up between Mumbai and Ahmedabad at a cost of Rs 98,000 crore.

The strategic pacts were signed after the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Mr Shinzo Abe. They also discussed international and regional issues of mutual importance, including UN Security Council reforms.

After the talks, Mr Modi also announced that “recognising our special relationship, India will extend visa on arrival to all Japanese citizens from 1st March 2016". “No friend will matter more in realising India's economic dreams than Japan," Mr Modi said, describing Mr Abe as “a personal friend and a great champion of India-Japan partnership".

On his part, Mr Abe said, “We have taken [our] relationship to [a] new level and buds have turned into blossom." The pacts between the two countries are expected to pave the way for the sale of Japanese defence equipment to India, including the much-sought-after US-2 amphibian aircraft.

Both the countries vowed deeper military cooperation, especially in the maritime sphere. India announced that Japan will be a partner in Malabar naval exercises, taking it from a bilateral naval exercise with the US to a trilateral level.

Fast, Safe: - Rs 98,000 crore: Projected cost of first bullet train network between Mumbai-Ahmedabad.

$12 billion fund created by Japan to support “Make in India" initiative.

On the defence: - Transfer of defence equipment and technology

Security measures for protection of classified military information and many more

All clear for nuclear: - Japan provides a third alternative in terms of nuclear reactors to India.

At present India uses obsolete Russian nuclear technology and expensive European pressurised reactors from French manufacturer Areva. Japan backs India's membership in the dual-use technology denial regimes. This will lead to easier access to uranium

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