Japan and India have had a “long-standing” relationship and this is the “best-ever period” for boosting bilateral ties between the two countries, Union minister Suresh Prabhu today said.
“Japan-India have had a long-standing relationship. And, it has assumed different proportions, different levels and different dimensions. And, now it should get deeper and better,” the Railway Minister said here at the opening ceremony of 2017 being declared as the year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges and announcement of Japan-India Collaboration Film Film Project this evening.
Prabhu asserted that the current time was the “best-ever period” for boosting bilateral ties between the two countries.
Japan and India have already collaborated on the country’s first bullet train project and on Buddhist heritage sites related projects.
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“It is not just ‘Love in Tokyo’ that India knows but also ‘Love for Tokyo’. Our relationship is based not just on closer diplomatic or economic ties but also closer relationship culturally and on societal level,” he said.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, India has lot to learn from Japan, especially from its “perfection and punctuality” and asserted that in coming years there will be large number of Indian tourists, visiting Japan.
“123,000 Indians visited Japan last year and about 100,000 in 2015. We are expecting a jump of about 30 per cent this year. From our side, about 200,000 Japanese visited India last year,” a senior official of the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) said.
The decision to declare 2017 as the year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges was taken during the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe during Modi’s visit to that country last November.
As part of the Japan-India Collaboration Film Film Project, production of ‘Love in Tokyo’ was announced on the occasion.
Director Imtiaz Ali is collaborating with Japan’s entertainment conglomerate Shochiku to produce this cross-culture romance.
Ali has turned producer for the film, written and directed by his brother Arif Ali. Imtiaz and Arif were present at the launch today.
The project borrows its title from the 1966 Bollywood hit but is not a remake of the Asha Parekh, Joy Mukherjee-starrer.
Imtiaz, who featured the country briefly in his last release “Tamasha”, says he is looking forward to explore “fascinating” Japan and its culture through this movie.