Japan PM Abe likely to cancel Guwahati meet with PM Modi as Assam burns in protest

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was expected to meet PM Modi in Guwahati on Sunday. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Dec 13, 2019, India Today. Japanese Prime Minister Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering cancelling his trip to India that is scheduled to begin on Sunday, Japan’s Jiji Press has reported. Shinzo Abe was to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Guwahati for the annual India-Japan summit on December 15, India Today reported.

However, following the violent protests in Guwahati that have brought the entire city and other parts of Assam to a standstill, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is said to be reconsidering his visit.

The Union government on Thursday said that it doesn’t have any clarity on the fate of the Modi-Abe meet that was scheduled to take place in two days.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday, “We don’t have any update to share.”

Last week, Raveesh Kumar announced that the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe would take place between December 15 and 17. The event was expected to take place in Guwahati.

Asked whether the government is contemplating shifting the venue, Kumar said, “I am not in a position to clarify on it. I have no updates to offer.”

Assam has been witnessing massive protests in the last two days with thousands of people hitting the streets of Guwahati defying prohibitory orders to demand scrapping of the Citizenship Bill that has now become a law with the President’s assent.

At least two persons died due to bullet injuries on Thursday after police opened fire on protesters in Guwahati. On Wednesday, protesters pulled down hoardings erected in central Guwahati to welcome Abe.

According to a PTI report, a Japanese team visited Guwahati on Wednesday to take stock of the preparations.

Last year, Japan hosted the summit in picturesque Yamanashi prefecture during which both sides had resolved to significantly expand bilateral cooperation in a range of areas.

(With PTI inputs)

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