Thursday, Jun 4, 2015Thursday, Jun 4, 2015

Japan to be first stop for India PM Modi: Report

Published on Jun 6, 2014 3:50 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan could be the first foreign destination for new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese media reported on Friday, suggesting the trip could happen as early as this month.

Coming top of Modi's travel itinerary would mark a diplomatic coup for Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is looking to boost his country's influence on the global stage and shore up regional alliances to counter the growing strength of China.

Modi took office in May after sweeping to power on a huge popular vote and a pledge to invigorate India's tepid economy, whose more-than-billion-strong population promises a huge potential market.

"Prime Minister Abe has invited new Prime Minister Modi to visit Japan, and the two countries are making final adjustments for that," top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told a press conference Friday in Tokyo.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!