Modi first foreign leader to visit Abe's vacation home

Last Updated 25 October 2018, 19:31 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to be the first foreign leader whom Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will host at his vacation home.

Abe will host a private dinner for the prime minister at his vacation home at Yamanshi Prefecture of Japan on Sunday — a day before the two leaders are set to hold the 13th India-Japan summit in Tokyo.

The prime minister will visit Japan on Sunday and Monday to hold the annual summit with his counterpart.

Abe will first host Modi at a hotel in the foothills of Mount Fuji in Yamanshi Prefecture. They will have a private lunch and take a stroll on the lawn of the hotel. The two leaders will then visit the plant of a Japanese company specialising in factory automation.

The Japanese prime minister will later take his guest to his vacation home for a private dinner.

“This is a very special gesture that Prime Minister Abe is making (for Prime Minister Modi). We believe this is the first time a foreign leader is visiting Prime Minister Abe's second home or his holiday home,” Foreing Secretary Vijay Gokhale told journalists on Thursday.

Abe will join Modi onboard a train to travel from Yamanshi to Tokyo later in the evening on Sunday. They will hold formal talks in Tokyo on Monday

Modi, too, had made a special gesture for Abe when the Japanese prime minister had visited India in September 2017 for the 12th annual summit. He had hosted Abe at Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in his home-state Gujarat.

The two leaders had visited Sabarmati Ashram and paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi together. Modi hosted Abe and his wife Akie Abe for a private dinner — full-course Gujarati Thalis — at a terrace restaurant in Ahmedabad. They had also taken a roadshow in the city.

The summit between Modi and Abe on Monday would be the fifth for them. The two leaders, however, had met at least 12 times since 2014 — not only for summits, but also on the sideline of the multilateral conclaves.

The two leaders are said to have developed quite a close personal friendship in the past four-and-a-half years.

(Published 25 October 2018, 15:39 IST)

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