India has signed an agreement with Japan for the development of its high-speed rail network.
The deal was formalised during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-day state visit to India, which took place over the weekend.
Under the terms of the agreement, Japan will support the development of India’s first high-speed rail link, which will connect Mumbai with Ahmedabad. The deal formed part of a US$12 billion rail support package for India, which takes the form of a low-interest loan.
“I cannot think of a strategic partnership that can exercise a more profound influence on shaping the course of Asia and our interlinked ocean regions more than ours,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted saying by Al Jazeera. “This enterprise will launch a revolution in Indian railways and speed up India’s journey into the future.”
The deployment of Japanese bullet train technology on the 505km Mumbai-Ahmedabad line is expected to slash the eight-hour rail journey down to just three hours.
The agreement will come as a blow to China, which had been competing with Japan for the lucrative Indian contract.