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Abe set to visit India in Sept. to promote bullet train technology

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is arranging to visit India in late September to attend a ceremony for a high-speed rail link using Japanese bullet train technology, government sources said Wednesday.


During the visit, Abe is expected to serve as “top salesman” for the adoption of “shinkansen” technology by other Indian railway systems, with China also aiming to win orders for the projects, the sources said.


The 500-kilometer railway will link Mumbai and Ahmedabad in western India, with services planned to commence in 2023.


Abe is planning to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony in Ahmedabad and hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during the visit.


India has pledged to build high-speed railways focused on the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.


When Modi came to Japan last November, he traveled by shinkansen with Abe from Tokyo to Kobe in western Japan to visit a bullet train plant of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., a maker of shinkansen cars.


In September, Abe and Modi are set to meet for the first time since Japan’s parliament approved a civilian nuclear cooperation treaty with India earlier this month. The pact paves the way for Tokyo to export nuclear power equipment and technology to New Delhi.


Abe is expected to tell Modi that Japan will support India, which has been facing power shortages, in the nuclear and renewable energy fields, while calling for it to maintain its moratorium on nuclear testing since 1998.


There are lingering concerns that nuclear technology exported to India, which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, could be used for military purposes.


The two leaders, meanwhile, are also likely to agree to promote defense cooperation among Japan, India and the United States, with an eye on China’s recent increased activities in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, the sources said.

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