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Press Release

1. In a significant gesture, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Kono and his spouse Mrs. Kaori Kono attended the traditional “Hanami Luncheon Reception” hosted by Ambassador of India to Japan Sujan R. Chinoy at the Embassy of India in Tokyo on 3 April 2018, on the occasion of Sakura season.

2. In response to Ambassador Chinoy's welcoming remarks, Foreign Minister Kono recalled the successful visit of External Affairs Minister of India Smt. Sushma Swaraj last week for the 9th India-Japan Strategic Dialogue. He described India and Japan as the “best partners” for promoting the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and reiterated his commitment to deepening the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership. He also stated that Japan looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the second-half of 2018, an event which would further strengthen ties.

3. Also present on the occasion was Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, who is in Tokyo for the 7th meeting of the Joint Committee of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Railway (Bullet Train) Project. Guests included Chairman of the Japan-India Parliamentarians Friendship League Hiroyuki Hosoda, Chief Representative of Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi, several Members of Parliament, Vice Ministers and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

4. Earlier on 26 January 2018, Foreign Minister Kono had attended the Republic Day Reception hosted by Ambassador Chinoy and expressed warm and friendly sentiments about ties with India.

Tokyo, 3 April 2018

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