The Dhokla Tempura diplomacy in Ahmedabad brings fresh cheer to Indo-Japan ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe created history amid pomp and fanfare as they embarked on a road show together when they landed in Ahmedabad for their annual summit. They visited the Sabarmati Ashram on Wednesday shortly after the Prime Minister from Tokyo arrived with his wife for a two-day visit.

Modi received the couple at the airport, where he waited for around half an hour to greet Abe the Japanese PM with the famous Modi-hug. Clearly the bonhomie was evident as he proudly showed his friend Abe san the showcase city which is dear to the Indian PM. The majestic reception clearly touched the couple who have in Modi a friend who kept aside protocol and security to travel in an open jeep along with the Japanese Premier and his wife. The visit will cement the Indo-Japan ties further besides the ambitious bullet train project, the key message is to the world that India and Japan are standing together to create a new Asian security and strategic order. And that China will have to play along that and not be a spoiler, as together India and Japan are a formidable Asian strategic and economic powerhouse. From the cultural glimpse of India to a veggie Gujarati thali at PM’s favourite terrace restaurant Agashiye, all the soft touches of diplomacy were palpable.

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The two leaders and Japan’s First Lady Akie Abe left for the Ashram, travelling in an open vehicle along the vehicle.

“I believe that Japan-India relationship is blessed with the largest potential in the world, and I am determined that Japan and India will lead the way towards peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and the world, hand in hand with Prime Minister Modi”, Modi’s office quoted Abe as saying in a release on Twitter.

Neelabh Banerjee, @neelabhtoons , was quick to take a dig at the politics that will follow later:

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Modi took the visiting dignitaries on a tour of the Sabarmati Ashram as the trio posed for pictures, including one in front of a charkha.

The Sabarmati Ashram was home to Mahatma Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and served as one of the main centres of the Indian freedom struggle.

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