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69th Republic Day of India
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Embassy of India

Tokyo

Press Release

69th Republic Day of India

In an unprecedented gesture, the 69th Republic Day of India Luncheon Reception hosted at the landmark Okura Hotel in Tokyo on 26 January 2018 by H.E. Sujan R. Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan, was attended and addressed by H.E. Taro Kono, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

2.  The star-studded gathering of over 700 guests at the reception included former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori,  Chairman of Japan-India Parliamentary Friendship League Hiroyuki Hosoda, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Iwao Horii, Chief Representative of Komeito Party Natuso Yamaguchi, several Vice Ministers, Members of the Diet, captains of the business community, senior officials from various Ministries of the Japanese government, heads of cultural and religious organizations and representatives of think-tanks, the scientific community, academia, media, the Indian community and the diplomatic corps.

3.  In his remarks after the National Anthems of India and Japan and the welcome remarks, Foreign Minister Taro Kono greeted the guests with ‘Namaskar” and stated in a lighter vein that after hearing Ambassador Chinoy deliver his remarks in fluent Japanese, he felt he should also speak in Hindi, but would have to apologize for not being able to do so.

4.  Foreign Minister Kono expressed his heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of India’s Republic Day and also conveyed his appreciation to the hosts, Ambassador Chinoy and Mrs. Vidya Chinoy, for bringing together such a large gathering to celebrate an event of such great significance for India.

5.  Foreign Minister Kono emphasized that Japan and India are strategic partners that share values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law. He warmly recalled the close relationship between the two countries as personally experienced by him when he visited India last year at the gracious invitation of the Government of India (before he became the Foreign Minister of Japan). He particularly highlighted that he was struck by the remarkable relationship of friendship and respect that existed between India and Japan.  He cited India as one of the most important partners for promoting Japan;s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. He added that 2017 had witnessed many positive developments in the bilateral relationship. In September 2017, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had visited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat for the Annual Summit Meeting.  He pointed out that there were about 1400 Japanese companies with over 4800 Japanese establishments in India, with the number rising every year. He referred to 2017 as a great year for bilateral relations, particularly as the Japan India Year of Friendly Exchanges in which about 200 cultural events were held in India and Japan. He said he would strive for even greater progress in bilateral ties during 2018, and also expressed his hope to pay a visit to India this year. He conveyed his heartfelt good wishes for the prosperity of the people of India and the continued development of the Japan-India partnership. The large gathering responded enthusiastically with a huge round of applause when he ended his remarks with a resounding “Dhanyavad”. Senior LDP MP Hiroyuki Hosoda also addressed the gathering in his capacity as the Chairman of the India-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League.

6.  Earlier in the morning of 26 January 2018, H.E. Ambassador Sujan R. Chinoy unfurled the National Flag at the Embassy of India in Tokyo in the presence of hundreds of Indians who turned out in large number despite the cold weather and the fact of it being a working day in Japan. This was followed by the singing of the National Anthem and the customary reading out by the Ambassador of the President’s Address to the Nation on the eve of Republic Day. Students of India International School and Global Indian International School sang patriotic songs.

7.  Two newspapers, Japan News and Japan Times, brought out a special supplement on India’s 69th Republic Day. They carried the Ambassador of India’s Message as well as congratulatory messages by Japanese dignitaries. A photo exhibition of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Japan in September 2017 and "Incredible India" was showcased at the Republic Day reception. There was also a cultural performance of Kathak dance by Ms. Atsuko Maeda and her students. Ms. Maeda, an ICCR alumnus is one of the foremost Kathak performers in Japan and head of the Kadamb Japan Dance School. Ambassador drew a lucky prize of two return tickets to New Delhi sponsored by Air India, which was won by a Japanese Member of Parliament.

8. Well-known Hindi scholar Tomio Mizokami, Professor Emeritus of the Osaka University of Foreign Studies, who was conferred the Padma Shri for Literature and Education on Republic Day, also attended the Republic Day celebrations.

Tokyo, 26 January 2018

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