Gandhinagar, September 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will get down to business on Thursday when they would jointly lay the foundation stone for the high-speed train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai which is expected to be completed by 2022. The train would cover the distance of over 500 km in around two hours.

The 508-km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed rail Project (Standard Gauge) is estimated to cost Rs 1,10,000 crore on completion. Out of the Rs 1,10,000 crore, Japan is giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore. The interest on this loan is minimal at 0.1 per cent and it is to be repaid in 50 years, with a grace period of 15 years.

The two leaders are likely to deliberate extensively on bolstering defence and security ties during the 12th Indo-Japan annual summit talks being held in Gandhinagar today in the backdrop of China’s growing assertiveness in the region. In Pics: Modi-Abe Roadshow From Ahmedabad Airport to Sabarmati Ashram

There may be specific discussions on the long-pending Indian proposal to buy the US-2 amphibious aircraft from Japan and joint development of military equipment to further deepen the defence ties in sync with strategic partnership between the two countries, official sources said.

The annual Indo-Japan summit is taking place amid escalating tension in the region following the nuclear test by North Korea and China’s combative posturing in the resource-rich South China Sea, and Modi and Abe are expected to deliberate on them.

The two prime ministers may also explore ways to further deepen ties between the navies of the two countries to check China’s heightened activities in the Indian Ocean.

Reflecting growing congruence in ties, Japan had thrown its weight behind India during the Dokalam standoff.

Ahead of Abe’s visit, the India-Japan annual defence ministerial dialogue had taken place in Tokyo during which co-production of military equipment, dual use technologies and New Delhi’s proposal to buy the US-2 ShinMaywa aircraft were discussed.

Modi and Abe are expected to deliberate on cooperation in the nuclear energy sector as well. A landmark civil nuclear deal between the two countries providing for collaboration between their industries in the field had come into force in July.

The nuclear cooperation agreement was signed November 2016 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tokyo. The deal allows Japan to export nuclear technology to India, making it the first non-NPT signatory to have such a deal with Tokyo.

With inputs from Agencies