Traditional Ryukyuan Dance performance at the Shriram Centre Auditorium
and so on. Several Indian and Japanese artists also held individual exhibitions of their own on the theme of Japan-India Friendship.
Important events for promotion of people-to people exchanges
Besides these events, some important events took place during the Friendship Year, which are expected to boost the bilateral ties between Japan and India.
On the eve of the Friendship Year, the new cultural center of the Japan Foundation New Delhi was opened in its new premises in December 2006.
In August 2007, the India-Japan Partnership Forum under the Chairmanship of Mr. Arjun Asrani, former Indian Ambassador to Japan, and the Indo-Japan Cultural Centre in Kolkata were inaugurated in the presence of Mr. Shinzo Abe, then Prime Minister of Japan.
The year 2007 was also designated as ‘Japan-India Tourism Exchange Year’ with both countries setting the target of increasing the number of visitors between them to 300,000 by the year 2010 and 500,000 by the year 2015.
In order to strengthen youth exchange between Japan and India, the Japanese Government introduced the JENESYS Programme, under which around 550 Indian youths are earmarked to visit Japan every year for 5 years until the year 2012. The first batch of Indian youth already visited Japan in December 2007.
Photo Exhibition on Japan-India Relations at the AIFACS Gallery
Advancements of academic exchanges
In the academic fields, the first Japan-India Dialogue of Vice-Chancellors /Presidents of Universities took place in August, coinciding with Mr. Abe’s visit. 25 universities of both countries agreed to strengthen academic exchanges and several cooperation agreements between the universities were concluded. The participating universities even agreed to continue to have the dialogue, and it is expected the dialogue will be an important cornerstone of bilateral academic cooperation. In the aftermath of the dialogue, the first Japan Education Fair took place in Pune and Delhi in October, which was attended by over 3000 visitors.
The Japanese Government has already been cooperating with India on the Indian Institute of Information Technology (Design and Manufacturing: IIITJ-DM), Jabalpur, under which prominent Japanese professors have visited the institute to develop the curriculum. The Japanese Government has also been requested by India to support the establishment of new IITs in the country.