It is with great pleasure that I greet the readers on the auspicious occasion of the state visit to India by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan from November 30 to December 6, 2013.
The Indian Government has long extended its official invitation for Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress. With the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India last year, the Indian Government renewed its invitation. This official visit has been decided in response to this invitation.
This is the first time that Their Majesties pay an official visit to India. However, in 1960, His Majesty the Emperor, when he was Crown Prince, made a visit to India, on behalf of Emperor Showa, with Her Majesty the Empress, Crown Princess at that time, in return for the visit to Japan by then Indian President Rajendra Prasad. (Afterwards, Their Majesties, Crown Prince and Princess at that time, stopped at India respectively in 1962 on the occasion of the official visit to Pakistan and Indonesia and in 1975 on the occasion of the attendance at the coronation of His Majesty the King of Nepal.)
Japan and India have long developed friendly relations at a general public level. Our two countries’ old ties date back to the introduction of Buddhism from India to Japan in the 6th century. And in the modern era, a renowned Japanese thinker, Okakura Tenshin, and a great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, deepened their friendship. Moreover, in the chaotic period after World War II, an elephant donated by India gave dreams to children in Japan. Today, Japan and India have steadily advanced their cooperative relationship in a wide range of areas. The year 2012 saw the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations of the two countries, and the relations have become even closer in various areas including politics, economy, and culture.
Their Majesties’ visit to India at this timing will further increase mutual interests of the people of both countries and contribute to the further development of the relationship with India based on friendship and goodwill.
Ambassador of Japan to India