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Modi cites people's efforts for India-Japan strategic ties

Posted on Sep 03 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".

In his address at a reception hosted by the Japan-India Association and the Japan-India parliamentary friendship league, Modi also referred to 99-year-old Saichiro Misumi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's oldest living associate who was in the audience.

"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.

After delivering his address, Modi reached out to Misumi and greeted him by holding his hands.

Noting India and Japan were now working as special strategic and global partners, 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.

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