Varanasi, Jul 15 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called Japan a trustworthy friend as he inaugurated here a convention centre constructed with the help of that country.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the International Cooperation and Convention Centre–Rudraksh, Modi said during the COVID-19 crisis when the world came to a standstill, Kashi remained disciplined, and the stream of development and creativity ('srijan') continued to flow uninterrupted.
“The Rudraksh is a result of this creativity ('rachnaatmaktaa') and agility ('gatisheeltaa'),' he said.
Modi also praised his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga, saying Kashi got the “gift” due to his efforts.
'I want to congratulate everyone, the people of Kashi for this achievement, especially India's 'param mitra' (close friend) Japan, the people of Japan, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Japanese ambassador to India Suzuki Satoshi,” he said.
A message from the Japanese PM was also played on the occasion, in which he congratulated the country over the inauguration of the convention centre and said Varanasi is the centre of India's long history and rich culture.
Modi also recalled former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe for his contribution to the project.
'Today, in this programme, I cannot forget to take the name of one person…my friend from Japan Shinzo Abe. I remember that when Shinzo Abe came to Kashi as prime minister, there was a long discussion on the idea of Rudraksh.” “He immediately asked his officials to work on this idea. After this, the work started with perfection and planning--the speciality of Japan. And today, this magnificent building is enhancing the beauty of Kashi,' the PM said.
He said the building has the “shine of modernity and aura of culture”.
“It has the connect of India and Japan and there is a scope of immense possibilities in future. During my visit to Japan, we had spoken about the 'apnapan' (affinity) in people-to-people relations. We have made a framework for such cultural ties with Japan,' Modi said.
Elaborating more on the India-Japan relationship, the prime minister said, 'Be it the strategic or economic area, Japan today is one of the most trustworthy friends of India. Our friendship is considered as one of the most natural partnerships of this region.” He further said, “Japan is our partner in some of the important and biggest projects related to modern infrastructure and development. Be it the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail, Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor or the dedicated freight corridor, the projects being built with the help of Japan will become the strength of new India.' He added that India and Japan believe that development should be linked to happiness. “This development should be 'sarvomukhi' (all directional). It should be for everyone and should connect all,” he said.
Modi said like the Kashi convention centre, some weeks ago, a Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy in Gujarat was inaugurated.
“If the Rudraksh is a garland of love given to India by Japan, then Zen Garden is spreading the fragrance of love between the two countries,' he added. PTI NAV RDK