India and Japan today inked 15 agreements to further broad-base their strategic partnership and agreed to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region where China is increasing its assertiveness.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe held wide-ranging talks on key bilateral, regional and international issues and discussed ways to deepen ties in trade, security and civil nuclear energy.
"We have just signed a joint statement which will serve as a milestone to open a new era for Japan-India relationship... based on that we will strongly promote Japan- India special strategic and global partnership to drive peace and prosperity for Indo-Pacific region and the whole world," Abe said.
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 14, 2017
Addressing a joint press event with Abe, Modi said Indo-Japan ties were not limited to bilateral or regional spheres. The two sides also closely cooperated on key global issues.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) bullet train project for which he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone here would bring pace to development in the country.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 14, 2017
In his address after the ceremony for the 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail, Modi said that no country can grow if they don’t dream big. “To grow one needs to expand his dreams and decide his strength to achieve that. It’s new India which has to fly high. Bullet train is a project that will provide pace to development. Along with new technology it will also bring results faster.” Modi said.
“Bullet train will bring employment as well as speed. The Bullet train project is human friendly and eco friendly,” he added. The high speed rail project, scheduled to be completed by 2022, has been financed by Japan.
Of the Rs 1.08 crore, Japan is giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore at a minimal interest of 0.1 per cent for 50 years. The repayment will begin only after 15 years. Of the 508 km stretch, 92 per cent (468 km) of the route will be elevated, six per cent (27 km) in tunnels and the remaining two per cent (13 km) will be on the ground.
The high speed train would also pass through the country’s longest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under the sea. Twelve stations have been proposed that include Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. The distance will be covered in two hours and seven minutes if the train stops at four stations — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai. If the train stops at all 12 stations, it will cover the distance in two hours and fifty-eight minutes.
According to Railway Ministry officials, the operating speed of the bullet train would be 320 kmph and the maximum speed would be 350 kmph.
Besides Modi and Abe, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, Gujarat Governor O.P. Kohli, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were present at the event.