NEW DELHI, Dec 12 - A $12-billion deal for India�s first ever bullet train network, an MoU on civil nuclear energy cooperation and sharing defence technology were among key agreements India and Japan today sealed to take forward their special strategic and global partnership to a new height.
The pacts were inked after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, who also focused on driving up economic ties besides deliberating on global issues, including the situation in South China Sea, challenges of terrorism and UN reforms.
Addressing a joint press meet with Abe, Modi said, �No friend will matter more in realising India�s economic dreams than Japan� while describing Abe as �a personal friend and a great champion of India-Japan partnership�.
To support Modi�s �Make in India� initiative, Japan has created a fund of about $12 billion which will be provided to Japanese companies for manufacturing in India. Japan has also pledged $5 billion as part of its Overseas Development Assistance to India.
After the Modi-Abe talks, the two countries signed a broad-based MoU for cooperation in civil nuclear energy with the final pact to be signed after certain technical and legal issues are thrashed out. This is the first time that Japan has inked such an MoU with any non-NPT (Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty) signatory country.
�The memorandum we signed on civil nuclear energy cooperation is more than just an agreement for commerce and clean energy. It is a shining symbol of a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of a peaceful and secure world,� Modi said.
Referring to the inking of a pact on the bullet train project, Modi said, �No less historic is the decision to introduce high speed rail on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through Shinkansen, known for speed, reliability, safety�.
He also noted that Abe�s extraordinary package of approximately $12 billion and technical assistance on very easy terms for this project were greatly appreciated.
The bullet train network will link India�s financial hub, Mumbai with Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The two sides also inked agreements � one concerning the Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology and another related to Security Measures for Protection of Classified Military Information.
The two leaders also issued a joint statement on �India and Japan Vision 2025: Special Strategic and Global Partnership Working Together for Peace and Prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region and the World�.
The statement said the two Prime Ministers welcomed the agreement reached between the two governments for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and confirmed that this agreement will be signed after the technical details are finalised including those relating to necessary internal procedures.
After the talks, Modi also announced that �Recognising our special relationship, India will extend �visa on arrival� to all Japanese citizens from 1st March 2016.�
On his part, Abe said, �We have taken relationship to new level and buds have turned into blossom.�
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the intention to develop �Japan Industrial Townships (JITs)� in India with incentive for companies which invest in the project. At least 13 such townships are under consideration.
The two leaders also expressed their concern about the growing threat and �universal reach of extremism� and reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations with �zero tolerance�.
Japan also decided to provide opportunity to 10,000 young Indian youths in Japan under a students exchange programme.
Modi said India and Japan will work together in East Asia Summit to promote an inclusive, balanced and open regional architecture and maritime security in the region.
On South China Sea, Modi and Abe were of the view that full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and early conclusion of the negotiations to establish a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea by consensus will contribute to peace and stability of the region. � PTI