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India PM Modi pushes back trip to Japan

India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi has postponed a visit to Japan which had been expected to take place early next month, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

NEW DELHI: India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi has postponed a visit to Japan which had been expected to take place early next month, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

"The dates we were looking at for the visit in early July will now be reworked after PM Modi wrote to PM (Shinzo) Abe," ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in New Delhi.

Although no reason was given for the delay, reports in the Indian media said Modi wanted to push back his departure until after his government's first budget which is expected to be introduced in parliament in the second week of July.

The spokesman said that Modi remains "very keen to visit Japan" and has written to Abe to discuss alternative dates.

While Modi did visit India's tiny neighbour Bhutan last weekend, his visit to Tokyo would have been his first trip to a major foreign capital since his landslide election in May.

The right-wing Modi has often been compared to Abe, as both are staunch nationalists who were elected to office on pledges to revive their countries' economic fortunes.

Both countries also have a history of territorial disputes with China, although Modi has insisted that Beijing and Delhi should be "natural partners" rather than rivals.

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