Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he begins a five-day visit to the country. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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STORY: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off his visit to Japan on Saturday by attending a reception by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Modi arrived in Kyoto, western Japan, on Saturday afternoon for his first major bilateral trip since taking over in May.
During the reception at the State Guest House in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, the two leaders walked side by side in a traditional Japanese garden and fed carps in a pond.
Modi's visit is being billed as an attempt by the two democracies to balance the rising weight of China across Asia.
Modi and Abe, who will hold official bilateral talks in Tokyo on Monday are expected to strengthen defense ties, speeding up talks on the sale of an amphibious aircraft to the Indian navy.
Abe is keen to expand Japan's network of security partnerships with countries such as Australia and India to cope with the challenge presented by China.
Indian is also hoping to win Japanese backing for a nuclear energy pact, and lure investment into its $85 billion market while addressing Japan's concern about nuclear proliferation.
India has been pushing for an agreement with Japan on the lines of a 2008 deal with the United States under which India was allowed to import U.S. nuclear fuel and technology without giving up its military nuclear program.
But Japan wants explicit guarantees from India, which has not signed the international Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to strictly limit nuclear tests and to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities to ensure that spent fuel is not diverted to make bombs.
India, which sees its weapons as a deterrent against nuclear-armed neighbors China and Pakistan, has sought to meet Japan's concerns and over the past month the two sides have speeded up negotiations ahead of Modi's visit.
Modi will move to capital Tokyo on late Sunday and meet Japanese cabinet members on Monday. He will also pay a courtesy visit to Japanese Emperor Akihito on Tuesday.
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