Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that the India-Japan relationship was below potential and the two sides would strive to achieve in five years the unrealised hopes of five decades.
In a statement before departing from Delhi, Mr. Modi said he was “deeply grateful” to Mr. Abe for joining him in Kyoto. “My visit to Kyoto reflects the ancient foundations of our contemporary relations and will also focus on…urban renewal and smart heritage cities as well as advanced scientific research.”
Mr. Modi even used his interaction with the Japanese media on Friday to spell out what his government had achieved in its first 100 days – pointing clearly to the twin problems of slow global growth and the absence of a strong government in Delhi.
Laying out the agenda for his visit, the Prime Minister said, “We will explore how Japan can associate itself productively with my vision of inclusive development in India, including the transformation of India’s manufacturing, infrastructure sectors, energy and social sectors.”
Mr. Modi, who has a packed schedule in Kyoto on Sunday, will meet the Governor and Mayor of the city and interact with school children as well.
During discussions over a traditional, informal dinner hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, both leaders said the two countries had to seize the opportunities presented by their respective strong political mandates, a read-out from their meeting said.
The two leaders also had a candid exchange of views on the developments in the region and the world and saw in their remarkable convergence of views a great opportunity to work together for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.
Mr. Modi and Mr. Abe will together visit the ancient Buddhist Toji temple in Kyoto on Sunday.