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Modi, Abe get the show on road

| | Ahmedabad
Modi, Abe get the show on road

Prime Minister Narendra Modi defied protocol to personally receive his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, and wife Aki Abe at the Ahmedabad airport on Wednesday and then took them on a eight-km magnificent roadshow. The Japanese PM is here on a two-day visit to attend the 12th edition of the India-Japan annual summit meeting.

After an official function at the airport and Guard of Honour by three wings of Defence forces, Abe and his wife were greeted to cultural fiesta and welcomed traditionally by Buddhist monks. Later on, the Japanese PM and his wife changed their attire and wore Indian traditional clothes to join Modi on the roadshow from Sardar Patel airport to Sabarmati Ashram.

The Japanese PM wore a blue “Modi-Jacket” and his wife was dressed in salwar and kameez. He and Modi waved to the crowd on both the sides of roads during the roadshow. They were welcomed by 28 troupes en route showcasing cultural highlights of various States of India. Apart from performances of artistes of different States, schoolchildren too performed Yoga near picturesque riverfront area as the cavalcade passed through a part of Sabarmati Riverfront en route Sabarmati Ashram. Amid tight security arrangement, locals throng both the sides of roads to have a glimpse of top political leaders of two powerful nations.

After almost 30 minutes, the convoy reached Sabarmati Ashram where Modi and Abe paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Both the Prime Ministers then sat alongside Sabarmati River at the Ashram on traditional “Sankheda Sofas”. The Japanese Prime Minister and his wife later penned down their emotions in guest book of Ashram in Japanese. Aki Abe is said to have written “Love and Thank you” in the visitor book.

Interestingly, Modi became so friendly that he was seen telling his Japanese counterpart minute things about Gujarat and its culture during the roadshow as well as at the Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram. He explained nuances of Charkha, Chabutra and small statues of three monkeys famously depicting Gandhian ideology of not to speak, listen or see bad things.

In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping had similarly arrived at Ahmedabad from Beijing and enjoyed Modi’s hospitality. Now the Japanese Prime Minister too landed directly to Ahmedabad from Tokyo.

A very few heads of States directly arrived to other cities than the national Capital Delhi in the past.

In his message ahead of his visit, Abe termed India to be“tremendously special” to Japan.

“Today, I will begin my visit to India for the fourth time as Japan’s Prime Minister, and visit Prime Minister Modi’s home State of Gujarat. There I will hold my 12th Japan-India summit meeting with Prime Minister Modi, and I am looking forward to further advancing the ‘new era’ in Japan-India relations,” he stated. Praising Modi, he remarked that the Indian PM was a powerful leader with an outstanding ability to get things done. Abe also termed India and Japan as major Asian democracies and global powers.

After paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, both the leaders took break at a city-based 5-star hotel near Vastrapur lake area. Later in the evening, they visited heritage Sidi Saiyad ni Jali built in the 16th Century and had traditional Gujarati food at an heritage café in the proximity. Post-dinner, both the leaders had closed door meeting.



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