National / Politics

Modi inspects bullet train plant after agreeing to shinkansen deal

KYODO

KYODO — Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to the city of Kobe on Saturday to inspect a bullet train plant after Japan and India agreed to cooperate on a high-speed railway project in the South Asian country.

Abe accompanied Modi on his trip from Tokyo to the Hyogo Prefecture city by shinkansen. The inspection of the plant of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., a maker of shinkansen cars, came at the request of Indian officials.

After a meeting in Tokyo, Abe said Friday he and Modi agreed to start construction of a high-speed railway project using Japanese bullet train technology starting in 2018 with the aim of beginning service in 2023. The 500-km-long (300-mile-long)railway will link Mumbai and Ahmedabad in western India’s Gujarat state.

Prior to visiting the plant, the two leaders attended a signing ceremony where the Hyogo Prefectural Government and officials from Gujarat exchanged memorandums on business and culture.

Hyogo’s local government provided support to Gujarat following an earthquake there in 2001. Exchanges between Hyogo and Gujarat have continued since, with Modi visiting the prefecture twice while he was the state’s chief minister.