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India, Japan working as strategic partners, says Narendra Modi

Posted on Sep 02 2014 | IANS

Tokyo, Sep 2 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said India and Japan were now working as "special strategic and global" partners and this was the result of efforts of not just the two governments but because ordinary people "nurtured this sapling and turned it into a tree".

"We are now working as special strategic and global partners," Modi said in his address at a reception hosted by the Japan-India Association and the Japan-India parliamentary friendship league.

Modi suggested expanding links between people's representatives by creating a Young Parliamentary Association and a Women's Parliamentary Association.

"If we have a Young Parliamentary Association, it can represent the thought and ideology of the new generation. There can also be an arrangement for the women parliamentary members of the two countries to meet and share ideas," he said.

"India is a vast country. I would want Indian legislators to visit Japan and the members of local bodies of Japan to visit India," Modi added.

The prime minister said there was an unwritten spiritual connection between the two countries.

Modi, who is on a five-day visit to Japan, said there was growing interest among the Japanese to learn Hindi and yoga.

"The enthusiasm to learn Hindi is increasing in Japan, and yoga is also becoming popular," Modi said, adding that he received a letter from the organisers urging him to speak in Hindi when he comes to Japan.

Modi referred to a man aged over 90, who had once worked with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and still recalls incidents associated with Netaji.

"I have asked the Indian ambassador in Tokyo (Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa) to depute a professional team with this gentleman for a month, so that a video recording could be made of his interviews," Modi said.

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