PM Modi interacts with Japanese personalities instrumental in promoting Indian culture in Japan

Hiroshima: Modi unveils a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Hiroshima as mark of solidarity for peace and non-violence

BY | Saturday, 20 May, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Padma Shri Dr. Tomio Mizokami in Hiroshima on 20 May 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met some of the leading Japanese personalities who were instrumental in promoting Indian culture in Japan, saying such interactions facilitate the deepening of mutual understanding and creating stronger bonds between the two countries.

Prime Minister Modi is in Hiroshima to attend three sessions at the G7 Summit following an invitation by his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.

Modi met Dr. Tomio Mizokami, Professor Emeritus at the Graduate School of Foreign Studies of Osaka University, a renowned author, linguist, and proficient in Hindi and Punjabi languages.

Mizokami was conferred the Padma Shri in 2018 for his contribution to the promotion of Indian literature and culture in Japan.

He presented the widely acclaimed book “Jwalamukhi”– an anthology of writings from the 1980s by a cohort of Japanese scholars who laid the foundation of Hindi learning in Japan, according to the press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

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PM Modi also met and interacted with Hiroko Takayama, who was born in Hiroshima and is a Western-style painter, whose works are deeply influenced by her deep association with India, spanning over two decades.

Takayama has conducted several workshops and held exhibitions in India, and was briefly a Visiting Professor at Visva Bharati University, Shanti Niketan, the press release said.

She presented the Prime Minister with one of her prominent works — an oil painting of Lord Buddha, created in 2022.

PM Modi with Hiroko Takayama

Prime Minister Modi said such interactions facilitate the deepening of mutual understanding, respect and creating stronger bonds between our countries.

He looked forward to further opportunities for such enriching exchanges that pave the way for further strengthening India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership relations, it added.

Earlier, PM Modi held bilateral talks with Kishida, focusing on ways to synergise efforts under G7 and G20 presidencies to deal with various global challenges.

Modi also unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi here in the Japanese city. The bust was gifted by India to Hiroshima as a symbol of friendship and goodwill between India and Japan on the occasion of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the city for the G7 summit.

The location of the bust of Gandhi has been chosen as a mark of solidarity for peace and non-violence. The US conducted the world’s first nuclear attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing some 140,000 people.

Modi also spoke to reporters after unveiling the bust and said that even today the world gets frightened even today when it hears the word ‘Hiroshima’.

“Unveiled Mahatma Gandhi’s bust in Hiroshima. This bust in Hiroshima gives a very important message. The Gandhian ideals of peace and harmony reverberate globally and give strength to millions,” the prime minister tweeted.

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