Regional security on agenda as PM Modi meets Japan's Shinzo Abe

13th India-Japan annual summit seeks to review progress in ties and deepen strategic dimension of bilateral relationship.

Yamanashi/New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Yamanashi on Sunday as the two leaders seek to add new vigour to the strong friendship between the two countries.

"Prime Ministers @narendramodi and @AbeShinzo meet at Yamanashi. They would be holding talks through the day on deepening India-Japan ties," Prime Minister Modi's office tweeted.

PM Modi, who arrived in Japan last evening to attend the 13th India-Japan annual summit, has said that his meeting with Abe will add new vigour to the strong friendship between the two countries.

The two-day summit beginning Sunday will seek to review the progress in ties and deepen strategic dimension of the bilateral relationship.

Abe will host a luncheon for Modi at a scenic resort by Mount Fuji. After luncheon, they would visit a factory of industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc Corp. before moving on to the Japanese premier's vacation home nearby.

Abe will host the Indian Prime Minister at his holiday home in the picturesque Yamanashi prefecture, west of Tokyo, for a private dinner Sunday following which both the leaders will travel to Tokyo by train.

Yamanashi, at a distance of around 110 kilometres from Tokyo, is surrounded by several mountains including Mount Fuji - the country's tallest peak at around 3,776 metres.

The two leaders will hold a formal summit on Monday in Tokyo, during which strengthening bilateral security and economic cooperation is expected to be high on the agenda.

Ahead of his departure from New Delhi, PM Modi described India and Japan as a "winning combination" and said the island nation was New Delhi's most trusted partner in its economic and technological modernisation.

PM Modi said it will be his 12th meeting with Abe since he first visited Japan as prime minister in September 2014.

During the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will engage with Abe on a range of issues including defence and regional security. Besides bilateral issues, the two leaders are expected to deliberate on a range of regional and global issues including the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.

It is said the Prime Minister's visit will reaffirm the traditional bonds of friendship between the two countries and strengthen their multi-faceted cooperation in diverse fields.

India is also hoping to have some kind of synergy or integration between Modi's Ayushman Bharat scheme, which is the largest medicare programme of its kind globally, and the Japanese programme which is called Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative.

Prime Minister Modi has said projects such as Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail and Dedicated Freight Corridors reflected the high level and "strength of our economic engagement".

"Japan is also at the forefront of engaging in our national initiatives, such as 'Make in India', 'Skill India', 'Digital India', 'Start Up India'... Japanese investors have faith in India's economic future, which is marked with myriad opportunities," PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister will also address the Indian community function in Tokyo and will attend a series of business events and address the business forum.

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