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Indo-Japan friendship more relevant for global stability in the era of Covid: PM Modi

In his address via video conference, Modi said the opening of the Zen garden and the Kaizen Academy in Ahmedabad "is a symbol of the spontaneity and modernity of relations between India and Japan".

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: June 27, 2021 8:05:28 pm
PM Modi asks ministers to spread awareness among people about vaccinationPrime Minister Narendra Modi also asked them keep track of the projects and ensure these are not delayed, sources said. (File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the friendship and partnership of India and Japan has become more relevant for global stability and prosperity in the current era of Covid-19 pandemic.

After virtually inaugurating a Japanese ‘Zen Garden — Kaizen Academy’ at the Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) here, Modi added that when many global challenges are facing us, it is the need of the hour that the relationship between the two countries is further strengthened.

The PM said, “We have the confidence of centuries-old cultural ties and a common vision for the future. On the basis of the same, we have been continuously strengthening our Special Strategic and Global Partnership. We have also made a special arrangement of Japan-Plus in PMO. When former Prime Minister of Japan and my friend Shinzo Abe came to Gujarat, it had given a new pace to Indo-Japan relations. He was very excited with the bullet train project. Even today, when we talk, he remembers his Gujarat visit,” Modi said.

“The current Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga, too, is a very clear-sighted person. PM Suga and I believe that in this current era of Covid pandemic, our friendship and partnership has become even more relevant for global stability and prosperity. Today, when many global challenges are facing us, it is the need of the hour that our friendship and relations become stronger day by day. And effort like Kaizen Academy is certainly a beautiful example of that,” he added.

‘Zen Garden – Kaizen Academy’ is a joint endeavour of the Japan Information & Study Centre at the AMA and the Indo-Japan Friendship Association (IJFA), Gujarat, supported by the Hyogo International Association (HIA) Japan, said Mukesh Patel, president of IJFA and founder of Japan Information and Study Centre at AMA, in a release Sunday. It has traditional Japanese elements such as Red Bridge Guzei, Shoji Interior, Glory of Tori, a 3D art mural, fusion Chabutaro, Taki waterfall, Tsukubai basin and Kimono scroll.

“I would like that Kaizen Academy propagates Japan’s work culture in India and increases business interactions between Japan and India,” he added.
Modi said that the concept of Kaizen finds reflection in yoga and spiritualism of India. “India and Japan have given as much importance to internal peace and development as they are committed to external prosperity… what is Zen in Japan, is in deed yoga in India,” the PM said adding that the literal meaning of Zen is “improvement”, but its wider meaning gives importance not only to improvement but to continuous improvement.
PM Modi recollected his efforts to implement Kaizen in administrative training in 2004 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

“Then in 2005, during the Chintan Shibir with top civil servants, we gave them Kaizen training. Then we took it to the education system of Gujarat…We removed truck loads of redundant things from government offices, made changes in procedures and made them simpler,” PM Modi said, adding that when he became the Prime Minister, he brought about similar changes in the PMO and other departments.

Recollecting his personal association with Japan, Modi said that whenever he said that he wanted to create a mini-Japan in Gujarat, he meant that Japanese people should “feel at home in Gujarat”.

“Japan had joined Vibrant Gujarat Summit as a partner country since the beginning. Even today, Japan’s will be among the biggest delegations to come for the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. We all feel satisfied with the confidence shown by Japan in Gujarat and the ability of its people,” Modi said.

The PM said that more than 135 leading Japanese companies are functioning from Gujarat today in different sectors. “These companies are also helping a lot in skill development of Gujarat’s youths. Three Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing are imparting training to hundreds of youths in Gujarat.”

Modi said that Gujarat has paid attention to minute details as far as people of Japan are concerned. He recollected how during an informal discussion with a Japanese delegation, as Gujarat CM, he came across an issue of non-availability of golf courses in Gujarat even as the Japanese love to play golf.

“After that meeting, attempts were made to develop golf courses in Gujarat. I am happy that today, there are many golf courses in Gujarat. There are many restaurants whose specialty is Japanese food. So, it has been an attempt to make Japanese people feel at home in Gujarat… I would like that a model of Japan’s school system is also established in Gujarat,” Modi said.

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