TOKYO (TIP): Ahead of 11th India-Japan annual summit in Tokyo today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Japanese Emperor Akihito during which they discussed how the two countries can strengthen cooperation in several fields and speedy implementation of projects.

“A rare audience that symbolizes the unique warmth between #IndiaJapan. PM @narendramodi greets His Highness Emperor Akihito of Japan,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

“Speaking of civilizations. PM @narendramodi and Emperor Akihito talk of the common bonds of #IndiaJapan and the future of Asia,” Swarup said in another tweet.

PM Modi will later in the day hold wide ranging talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe here which will include security, trade and investment, skill development and infrastructure development.

The two sides will also ink about 12 pacts and possibly sign a crucial civil nuclear deal, giving a fillip to the bilateral strategic relations.

At the annual Summit, the two leaders will also discuss ways to enhance ties in a broad range of areas, including security, trade and investment, skill development and infrastructure development.

Modi will address Japanese business leaders during his two days of official programme and day after here and in Kobe.

After the Summit talks, about 12 pacts will be signed by the two sides, sources said, adding these would cover areas like skill development, cultural exchanges and infrastructure. Amid high expectations about the civil nuclear deal being signed, the two sides were in the process of concluding the negotiations.

The two countries had sealed a broad agreement during Abe’s visit to India last December but the final deal was yet to be signed as certain technical and legal issues were to be thrashed out.

Both the countries have completed the internal procedures including legal and technical aspects of the text of the pact, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said last week.

When specifically asked whether the pact will be signed during Modi’s visit, he only said, “I cannot pre-judge outcome of the talks.” Negotiations for the nuclear deal between the two sides have been going on for a number of years but the progress on these was halted because of political resistance in Japan after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

From Tokyo, Modi, accompanied by Abe, will travel to Kobe by the famed Shinkansen bullet train, the technology that will be deployed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway. He will visit the Kawasaki Heavy Industries facility in Kobe, where high speed trains are manufactured.

PM Modi, who left New Delhi early on Thursday morning, made a brief stopover in Bangkok to pay homage to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-ruling monarch, who died last month.