According to official sources at the Imperial Guest House in Kyoto, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat down with his host and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at a traditional dining table for over one-and-a-half hours, “for an exceptionally warm and friendly conversation" over a traditional Japanese meal on Saturday evening.
Indian sources claimed that,"Their discussion was marked by a great deal of mutual respect and admiration and convergence of views.
The two prime ministers spoke about the little-known ancient cultural and religious links between the two countries.
The official sources added, "They felt that the commencement of Modi’s visit in Kyoto, the old capital city and an important centre of Buddhism, highlighted this important spiritual foundations of India-Japan relations. They are both keenly looking forward to visit the ancient TojiTemple, which was a symbol of this link, on Sunday."
The MoU between Varanasi and Kyoto, signed earlier in the evening in their presence, was yet another reflection of working together to foster cooperation to address contemporary challenges on the strength of their shared heritage, said an official from the ministry of external affairs.
Modi will be visiting the Centre for iPS Cell Research in Kyoto on Sunday as part of his desire to seek advanced solutions through stem cell research for the health challenges he has seen in India.
The source present at the venue said, “Abe spoke with great enthusiasm and strong conviction about India and the importance of India-Japan relations for Japan and the region. Modi described Japan as one of India’s closest and most important partners and spoke about his own admiration and affinity for Japan and his high hopes from the relationship.”
The Indian side claimed, "The discussions covered ‘Modinomics’ and ‘Abenomics’, and the opportunities that both countries had to seize presented by their respective strong political mandates to inject new momentum and energy in their economies."
Modi observed that the relationship was far below potential and expressed hope that the two sides would strive to achieve in five years the unrealised potential of five decades, claims Indian side.
The official source said, “Abe expressed confidence that India’s economic transformation would gather strong momentum under Modi’s leadership. An economically resurgent India would, he said, be of great strategic importance to the region and the world, and an inspiration for democratic forces.
Modi said that a strong India-Japan partnership was important not just for the economic benefits to the two countries, but even more as a force of good for the region and the world."
The two leaders also had exchange of views on the developments in the region and the world, and saw in their convergence of views a great opportunity to work together for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.
Modi was deeply touched by Abe’s gesture of hosting him in Kyoto. They look forward to continuing their conversation in Tokyo, said the sources.