Bengaluru: Royal Echo troupe member Kazumasa Kuboki performs during the 30th anniversary celebration of the Japanese Language School in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
What do India and Japan have in common? How can the two countries strengthen their relations?
The 30th year celebration of the Japanese Language School held here on Tuesday was an evening filled with exchange of ideas on strengthening the relationship between the two countries. It was a reflection on the progress of the two countries over the last three decades.
Chiranjiv Singh, former additional chief secretary, Karnataka, said India had a timely lesson to learn from Japan. While the Indian culture was rooted in the dictum “Less is More”, over the decades the country had leaned towards consumerism. “In a blind pursuit of GDP, we forget other things. Japan is a living embodiment of this dictum.
This is something we have lost sight of in our mad rush to consumerist society,” he said. While political relations are volatile, cultural ties will remain robust. The Bengal School of Art is influenced by the Japanese art. Tagore had invited the Japanese to Shantiniketan, Singh added.
In a tribute to its founder, the late H Ganesh, alumni of the school recalled their memories of him. Nobuaki Yamamoto, Consul and Head of the Consulate of Japan, said promotion of Japanese language was one of the priorities of the Japanese government. “We wish to have more Indian students and tourists in Japan. It is heartening to know many Indian people are taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test,” he said.
Kazumasa Kuboki of the Japan External Trade Organisation hoped the trade between the two countries would further grow. In 1980, the trade between India and Japan was $1.7 billion but in 2013 it grew to $16.3 billion.
“From the earlier bilateral trade, we are now looking at multilateral trade. Today, hundreds of Japanese firms are operating in India. The number of expatriates too has grown significantly,” he noted.