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Ahmedabad All Decked up to Welcome Shinzo Abe After Hosting Xi Jinping in 2014

The 8km-long stretch from the Ahmedabad airport to the Sabarmati Ashram is decked up with cut-outs and images of PM Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:September 13, 2017, 3:42 PM IST
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Ahmedabad All Decked up to Welcome Shinzo Abe After Hosting Xi Jinping in 2014
File photos of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Reuters)
Ahmedabad: Three years ago a picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping on a swing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad made news. Come 2017, in the backdrop of Doklam, the equations have completely changed. Shinzo Abe is now making his way to the same spot but amid greater fanfare.

In an unprecedented move, the two Prime Ministers will be holding an hour-long roadshow while on their way to the Sabarmati Asharam.

The 8km-long stretch from the Ahmedabad airport to the Sabarmati Ashram is decked up with cut-outs and images of PM Modi and Abe. Flags of both the countries and balloons adorn each roundabout and bus stops. Cultural shows by artistes from all the parts of the country are set to be performed all through the stretch.

The grand welcome is perhaps a signal to Beijing. Japan was the first major country that came out clearly backing India in the 2-month-long standoff over Doklam. Japanese ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu had said ‘no country should use force to change the status of Doklam’. Japan itself has seen a dispute with China over the Senkaku islands.
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The Japanese PM has a packed schedule over the next two days with him visiting Sidi Saiyyid ki Jaali after the visit to Sabarmati Ashram.

On Thursday, the work on Japan's gift to India, the bullet train, will start with a groundbreaking ceremony, followed by bilateral talks and exchange of documents in Gandhinagar. The Japanese PM is being accompanied by his wife Akie Abe.

The grand show being put up is also being viewed by some as BJP's build-up for the electoral battle.
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