Shinzo Abe and his better half arrived at the Ahmedabad airport on Wednesday afternoon, where PM Modi warmly greeted him for a cultural roadshow to the Sabarmati Ashram. The roadshow ceremony ran 8 kms from the Ahmedabad airport to Sabarmati Ashram.
The roadshow displayed the cultural heritage through traditional dance performances like Bhangra, Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Garba, etc. As a part of the show, students also performed yoga along with musical and other cultural programmes.
Later, both the global leaders also visited the Sabarmati riverfront. A dinner at Agashiye restaurant in the House of MG, a well-known heritage hotel in the walled city area of Ahmedabad, has been planned for tonight.
Abe’s visit is seen as part of his efforts to consolidate the bilateral relationship between Japan and India, which was given a new push under his leadership in 2012.
On Thursday, the two world leaders will be seen inaugurating the Rs. 1.1 trillion high speed rail project, popularly called the bullet train that will run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
The same will be flagged off by laying the foundation stone at the Sabarmati station—the first planned terminal on the route.
Japan is also extending a soft loan of around Rs. 88,000 crore for the project, at an interest rate of 0.1%, to be repaid in 50 years with a 15-year grace period.