Kenji Hiramatsu, Japanese Ambassador to India, speaking at the inauguration of the 13th edition Japan Habba 2017, Indo-Japan festival, in Bengaluru on 12 February, said he wished that more people to people exchange would happen between India and Japan, improving further their bilateral ties.
He said that they wanted to see more than 10,000 Indian nationals visiting Japan soon, adding that they were working to ease visa rules to ensure that this would happen.
Hiramatsu was quoted by the New Indian Express as saying that they wanted to see more Indian youngsters visit Japan. Adding that 13 more visa application centres would be opened in India, he suggested that they visit the Land of the Rising Sun during the season of cherry blossom, which would be the nicest time.
He said that Japanese government would focus on tourism, cultural and youth exchange with India. Reminiscing how India came to Japan’s aid when it was hit by the tsunami and other unfortunate events, Hiramatsu said that they were grateful for it. India’s Disaster Response Force swung into action in Japan during the 2004 tsunami by distributing blankets, water and biscuits. He said that the sensitivity with which the force acted was greatly appreciated by their country.
It marked a new beginning in Japan’s ties with India from the time Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, became the first PM of this South Asian country to be present at Japan’s Republic Day Parade, and his subsequent visits to the East Asian nation only strengthened them further, said Hiramatsu.
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