Osaka (Japan): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Osaka and discussed many aspects of India-Japan relations. He also addressed the Indian diaspora in Kobe, where the attendees broke into the chants of “Jai Shri Ram”.

He thanked them for being part of the world’s largest democratic process.

“When it comes to India’s relationship with the world, Japan has an important place in it. This relationship is dated back to centuries. There is a sense of belonging, goodwill and respect for each other’s culture and civilisation,” he said.

He also thanked Abe to be the first friend of India to congratulate him, for an overwhelming victory in the elections, over the phone.

“Thank you once again for the congratulations, you were the first friend of India who congratulated me, on phone. I also express my gratitude for the warm welcome you and Japan Government have accorded to us,” said PM Modi.

Addressing the Indian community in this Japanese city, Modi said that Japan has played an important role in India’s economic development. He also said that the bilateral ties are going to become more robust as India aimed to become a $5-trillion economy in the next five years.

“There was a time when we were collaborating in building cars and today we are collaborating in building a bullet train,” said Modi.

“Today, there is no such part of India where Japan’s projects or investments have not left its mark. Similarly, talent and manpower of India are contributing to strengthen Japan,” he told the enthusiastic Indian diaspora who gave a rousing welcome to the Prime Minister.

PM Modi is set to meet US President Donald Trump, on June 28, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.

This bilateral meet is going to be of huge importance as Trump had earlier tweeted that India’s ‘huge’ tariff against the US was unacceptable and was looking forward to speaking with PM Modi regarding this issue.

This issue was expected to figure against the backdrop of complaints by the US about trade deficit being tilted towards India.

On Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had also said he aimed to convey to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that India is not a high tariff country.