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‘India & Japan natural partners’: PM receives rousing welcome

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TOKYO : India and Japan are natural partners, sharing a relationship based on spirituality and cooperation, and the Japanese are playing in an important role in the country’s infrastructure and development initiatives, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said on Monday.

Modi was addressing a gathering of more than 700 members of the Indian diaspora in Tokyo on the first day of his two-day visit to Japan to participate in a Quad Leaders Summit. Before the event, he met Japanese Indologists, sportspersons and cultural artistes contributing to the promotion of cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two nations.

“Japan has played an important role in India’s development journey,” Modi said. “Our relationship with Japan is one of spirituality and cooperation.”

Japan is also an important partner in India’s infrastructure and development initiatives, he said, speaking in Hindi. “Be it the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail, the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, or the dedicated freight corridor, these are all big examples of India-Japan cooperation,” he said.

India’s relationship with Japan is one of strength and respect, and centred on the Buddha, knowledge and meditation, Modi noted. “More than ever, the world needs to follow the path shown by the Buddha,” he said. “This is the path to save humankind from all the challenges facing the world today, be it violence, anarchy, terrorism or climate change.”

Modi appreciated the skills, talent and entrepreneurship shown by the Indian community in Japan, and their connection with their homeland. Invoking Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore, he said both of them had spoken of the deep cultural ties between India and Japan. Tagore, he added, had praised Japan for being modern and ancient at the same time.

In line with the teachings of the Buddha, India is serving humankind and searching for solutions to global challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, which was the biggest crisis faced by the world in 100 years, Modi said. He highlighted socioeconomic development and reform initiatives undertaken by India in recent years, especially in infrastructure, governance, green growth and the digital revolution.

“India has been identified as a strong, resilient and responsible democracy. In the past eight years, this has become a medium of positive change in the people’s lives,” he said. The people-led government has improved the delivery of services and enhanced the people’s faith in democracy, he added.

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