"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Prime Minister's speech at the inauguration of the Festival of India in Japan and launch of the India Japan Friendship Year

[Date] December 14, 2006
[Source] Ministry of External Affairs, India
[Full text]

Your Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,

Madam Akie Abe,

Honourable Ministers and Members of the Diet,

Dr. Karan Singh, President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations

Members of the Indian community,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am delighted to welcome you on this happy occasion of the joint launch of the India-Japan Friendship Year 2007, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Cultural Agreement between India and Japan.

2. More than a thousand years ago, the peoples of India and Japan initiated a vibrant civilizational relationship, when Budhism traveled to Japan. The gentle message that was brought from India to Japan was a message of love, compassion and universal brotherhood.

3. The Festival of India which we launch today will bring out the vibrancy of India's culture in all its diversity; the youthful dynamism of contemporary India's free and open society, and the great transformations that are taking place in India's economy.

4. We are also looking forward to the Festival of Japan in India, which will showcase both modern and traditional Japanese culture, which is catching the popular imagination in India.

5. I am also delighted to welcome members of the Indian Community here. I applaud their efforts to keep the culture, spirit and idea of India alive in their adopted home. They are our true ambassadors to the world since they represent the dynamism of a new India on the move. I am confident that they are building new bridges between our two nations through their diligence, creativity and enterprise that have become the hallmark of the Indian Diaspora all over the world.

6. We are delighted that Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe have found it possible to join us at this special occasion. Excellency, we regard you as a valued friend of India, who has taken keen personal interest in developing enhanced partnership between our two countries. We are heartened to note the warm sentiments towards India that you have expressed. I fully reciprocate your sentiments.