Japan Calling Japan Calling  


   Mr. Noboru Ohashi, Chairman of the Japanese Executive Committee, thanked everyone involved for their efforts to make the Japan-India Friendship Year possible, and hoped for further development of the people-to-people relations between the two countries.

   The event also saw a presentation ceremony wherein prizes were given away to the two Indian winners of the ‘Japan-India Friendship Year’ Logo Design Contest. While one winner, Mr. Dibakar Das, received a free return air ticket on Japan Airlines for travel to Japan from Mr. Yuki Anami, General Manager, Japan Airlines, the other winner, Ms. Supriya Mahajan received her free return air ticket for travel to Japan from Mr. Ashok Das, Deputy Director General, ICCR.

   (During his visit to Japan in December 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had jointly launched the ‘Japan-India Friendship Year’ at a function held in Tokyo on 14 December 2006 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Cultural Agreement between the two countries. On the occasion, the two Prime Ministers also jointly issued the official logo mark for the Japan-India Friendship Year.)

The evening included a short performance of melodious songs by renowned Japanese singer Ms. Ryoko Moriyama, who sang three of her best songs. This was followed by a performance of Wadaiko (Japanese Drums) by the ‘O Edo Sukeroku’ Taiko Group, who regaled the audience with their rhythmic drumming and vigorous war cries. (see photo on front cover page)

Winners of the Logo Design Contest receiving their prizes from Mr. Yuki Anami of Japan Airlines and Mr. Ashok Das of ICCR

   The function was a great success, with the guests enjoying the performances as well as the delicious snacks and drinks served on the occasion.


– Number of visitors between the two countries set to reach 500,000 by 2015 –

   In the joint statement issued by the Prime Ministers of Japan and India in December 2006, it was decided to designate the year 2007 as ‘Japan-India Tourism Exchange Year’, with Japan scheduled to participate in the South Asia Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE) 2007 and India to participate in the World Travel Fair in Japan. The joint statement also set the target for increasing the number of visitors between the two countries to 300,000 by the year 2010, and to 500,000 by 2015.

   The ‘Japan-India Tourism Exchange Year’ was formally kicked off with a Grand Opening Ceremony that took place on 30 April 2007 in the Embassy of Japan, New Delhi. The event was hosted by the Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Mr. Yasukuni Enoki and Mrs. Enoki.

   The well-attended event saw good participation by persons belonging to the fields of travel and tourism, media, business, art and culture, diplomacy, government, etc. Mr. Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and Ms. Ambika Soni, Indian Minister of Tourism and Culture, were the chief guests on the occasion.

(Left to right): Ambassador Yasukuni Enoki, Ms. Yoshino Kimura, Minister Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, Minister Ambika Soni, Mr. Ryuji Funayama, and Mr. Tadatoshi Mamiya, President of Japan National Tourist Organization

   Short promotional films on Japan and India were shown to the guests on giant Sony LCD screens, presenting various aspects of life, culture, heritage and natural beauty of the two