NEW DELHI : Ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit, the Japanese government is sending a team of railway safety experts to India following a request by New Delhi last month.
The Japanese experts team will visit from August 28 to September 1. During their visit, the expert team will have discussions with the Ministry of Railways and railway safety experts in India, and will conduct site visits related to railway safety, said a Japanese Embassy statement.
The visit also comes days after two back-to-back railway accidents in Uttar Pradesh, that claimed over 20 lives, and have raised concerns over the safety of the Indian railways.
The statememt said that both the governments are working closely on railway safety in India, based on the Memorandum of Cooperation between Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Indian Ministry of Railways on Rail Safety, signed in February 2017, in response to India's request for Japanese Government's support on railway safety, in December 2016.
The Japanese government dispatches this railway safety expert team based on the Government of India's request submitted in July, 2017, it said.
The expert team consists of railway safety experts from railway related organizations, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). The team dispatched by JICA will examine the current status of railway safety in India and India's needs for capacity development for railway safety for considering further cooperation through JICA.
The Government of Japan expects that the dispatch of this railway safety expert team will enhance the level of cooperation on railway safety between Japan and India, it said.
Abe is to visit India in the middle of September when he is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for India's first ever high-speed rail network.