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India, Japan ink Kyoto-Varanasi partnership agreement

Posted on Aug 30 2014 | IANS

Kyoto, Aug 30 : India and Japan Saturday signed the Kyoto-Varanasi partnership agreement, soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was warmly received by his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe here.

Abe and Modi hugged each other, and then fed fish in keeping with the Japanese tradition.

"Feeding the fish. PM @narendramodi and PM @AbeShinzo began engagement in Kyoto following tradition of feeding the fish," external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted along with a photo of Modi and Abe.

The partnership, which focuses on how to preserve heritage while building smart cities, was signed between Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa and India's Ambassador to Japan Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa, Akbaruddin said.

"Partners in heritage. Kyoto-Varnasi partnership agreement signed in presence of @PMOIndia and PM @abeshinzo in State Guest House," he tweeted.

"Varanasi and Kyoto partner in Smart Heritage Cities prog. Amb Wadhwa and Mayor Kadokawa sign MoU. PM @narendramodi and PM @AbeShinzo witness," he said in another tweet.

Modi is in Japan on a five-day official visit, hoping to boost ties in infrastructure, trade, defence and civil nuclear energy. This is his first bilateral sojourn outside South Asia since he took office on May 26.

Earlier, Akbaruddin said that Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, was included in Modi's schedule as it "dovetails into Modi's emphasis on rejuvenation of cities while preserving their cultural heritage." The Hindu holy city of Varanasi is part of the prime minister's Lok Sabha constituency.

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