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Japan Poised To Win India's Bullet Train Deal: Nikkei

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, due to visit India this week, and his counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to issue a joint statement on the deal

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Japan is expected to win the right to construct India's first bullet train, after losing an Indonesian high-speed rail deal to China, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.

Japan will offer more than 1 trillion yen ($8.11 billion) in loans to construct India's 980 billion rupee fast train, according to the report.

Japan recently lost the bid to build Indonesia's first fast-train because Beijing provided a $5 billion loan without guarantees.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, due to visit India this week, and his counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to issue a joint statement on the deal, the Nikkei said.

Tokyo was picked to assess the feasibility of building the 505 kms (313 miles) corridor linking Mumbai with Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of Modi's home state, and concluded it would be technically and financially viable.

Construction of the high-speed railway link will start from 2017 and will be completed in 2023, the Nikkei reported.

Special Strategic Ties
Abe will arrive on Friday on a three-day visit to hold annual summit talks with Modi with a focus on forging greater synergies between two major Asian economies and take forward the special strategic ties.

In the 9th annual Indo-Japan summit talks, Modi and Abe will review implementation of various decisions taken in course of last one year to enhance economic ties, particularly in the trade and investment sector.

"The visit of Prime Minister Abe is for the Annual Summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi," the External Affairs Ministry said.

The summit meeting will be held on December 12 and Abe is likely to visit Varanasi, the Parliamentary constituency of Modi, on the same day.

Modi will accompany Abe during his visit to Varanasi. Abe had accompanied Modi during his visit to Kyoto. During his visit, Abe is expected to go to the Buddhist site Sarnath and also attend the aarti on the banks of river Ganga.

At the last Summit meeting held in Tokyo last year, the two prime ministers had agreed to elevate the relationship to "Special Strategic and Global Partnership".

Modi had visited Japan from August 30 to September 3 last year during which that country had announced doubling of its private and public investment in India to about $34 billion over a period of five years.

During the summit talks last year, Modi and Abe had agreed to enhance defence and strategic cooperation to a new level and also decided to speed up negotiations on civil nuclear deal.

While agreeing on greater defence equipment and technology cooperation, the two sides had decided to expedite discussions on modalities for the sale of Japanese US-2 amphibian aircraft.