NEW DELHI, Nov 24 -The Annual Summit between Japan and India is likely to be held in Guwahati next month, which is going to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
The dates for the two-day summit have not been officially announced, but sources hinted that it is expected around middle of December. The two Prime Ministers are also likely to visit Imphal.
Sources said that Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhale accompanied by top officials visited Guwahati and Imphal on November 21-22 on a recce mission and take stock of the preparations.
The summit itself is likely to be held at a five star hotel in Guwahati, while a cultural programme is schedule to be held at the old Deputy Commissioner�s Bungalow in the heart of the city.
The Assam Government has been given the responsibility of sprucing up the Colonial era structure, said sources.
Sources said that a Japanese delegation from the Embassy of Japan also visited both Guwahati and Imphal and cleared the venues.
The two Prime Ministers are also scheduled to go on a cruise on the Brahmaputra River besides attending the cultural evening.
The two sides agreed to hold the summit in Guwahati in light of Japan�s plan to pump in huge investments in North-East under the Act East Forum launched by India and Japan almost two years ago.
Japan is assisting with water supply and sewage projects in Assam, road projects in Meghalaya, forest management projects in Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim, and an irrigation project in Mizoram.
In Imphal, the two Prime Ministers are likely to visit the Peace Museum, Imphal and surrounding areas that have several war memorials having tombs of Japanese soldiers. The Japanese Prime Minister is expected to visit one or two such memorials, sources confided.
The two Prime Ministers are expected to visit a World War II peace memorial built by the Japanese in 1994 and the Imphal Peace Museum at Red Hill or Maibam Lokpa Ching, which was formally opened in June.
Modi had travelled to Japan for last year�s summit and Abe had hosted a private dinner for the Indian leader at his ancestral home in Yamanashi.
The Act East Forum, which is chaired by the Japanese envoy and India�s Foreign Secretary, aims to expand bilateral cooperation in the North East and to strengthen ties between Japan and the region. Officials from the External Affairs ministry and state governments of the North East are part of the forum.
The forum is the launch pad under India�s Act East Policy and Japan�s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. It focuses on connectivity, developmental infrastructure, industrial linkages and people-to-people contacts through tourism, culture and sports.