Japan PM scraps India visit

The violent protests in Assam put paid to the India-Japan annual summit with the government announcing that PM Narendra Modi’s meeting with counterpart Shinzo Abe in Guwahati had been deferred to a “mutually convenient date in the near future”.

This is the second major fallout of developments in the past few days related to the citizenship legislation after two senior Bangladeshi ministers called off their visit to India.

There was speculation that the summit could be shifted to Delhi, official sources said there was never any plan for a shift. “The simple reason for that is that it would have been impossible to work out the logistics for a summit of this nature at any other place, including Delhi, at such short notice,” said a government source.

A Japanese delegation had to call off its visit to Guwahati on Thursday and Indian officials who had arrived in Guwahati early for the summit remained holed up in a hotel as protesters resorted to violence.

The Centre was left with no choice but to defer the summit after Japan conveyed to Indian authorities that it wouldn’t be possible for Abe to travel to Guwahati in these circumstances. While the summit had been postponed, it’s not clear when it will happen. The 2020 summit, sources said, will take place late next year in Japan. If the two PMs do have another bilateral summit meeting before that, they would ideally want a considerable gap between the two meetings.

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