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Kolkata, such as Mitsubishi Chemicals and Marubeni Company, were conveyed by their Managing Directors in Kolkata, Mr. Yoshihiro Ikegawa and Mr. Masaki Hirahara respectively. The Chief Guest of this momentous occasion was Justice Shyamal Kumar Sen, Chairman, West Bengal Human Rights Commission, and former Governor of West Bengal. He highly applauded the sincere efforts of the people of Japan and India in building this bridge of friendship, which has made an indelible mark in the sands of time. This address was followed by the addresses by eminent Guests of Honour, including Prof. Krishna Bose, a great orator and Chairperson, Netaji Research Bureau. Madame Bose, with an awe-inspiring dexterity, related intriguing tales of the historic bonding of Japan and India down the ages, overcoming all trials and tribulations. Our next respected guest, Prof. Karuna Sindhu Das, Vice Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, who has a unique elegance and dignity in his deliberations, took the august audience down the path of the golden memories of cultural interaction in the historical perspective, with a promise of carrying on this endeavour by his esteemed University. Mr. Prosanto Pal, the eldest son of Justice Radha Binod Pal, who graced the occasion, was an iconic representative of the historic ties of respect and trust between Japan and India in most trying circumstances. The audience witnessed the power of his gracious presence and illustrious address. The Consulate will remain ever grateful to Mr. Pal for cordially participating in the festivities, inspite of his ailing health.

   Next, a magazine depicting Japan in Kolkata titled “Gallerie – A journey of Ideas”, edited by Ms. Bina Sarkar and sponsored by the Japan Foundation, was launched by Mr. Noro Motoyoshi, Consul General of Japan, Kolkata. This magazine illustrates the entire span of the world of creative art of Japan to the culturally and artistically sensitive citizens of Kolkata. A presentation encompassing very rare photographs of the rare genre of art in the Era of the Samurais was also highly appreciated by the audience. This launch was followed by the introduction of the book “Eternal Bond”. The book was launched by Justice Shyamal Kumar Sen. This book, a compilation of the speeches by Mr. Noro Motoyoshi, Consul General of Japan, Kolkata, is an encapsulation of the historic milestones of achievements, overcoming challenges and the evolution along with flourishing of the economic, diplomatic, cultural and spiritual bonding of Japan with India since the 6th Century.


   On this auspicious occasion of celebrating the 101st anniversary of the establishment of the Consulate-General of Japan in Kolkata, I would like to express my warm congratulations.

   First of all, I would like to pay my tributes to our friends of India, who have long been associated with Japan to promote the relationship between our two countries, either in the area of high arts, culture, or in business. When I recently had a chance to drop in Kolkata for a very short stay, I was deeply impressed to learn that people of Kolkata had been interacting with Japan long before our diplomatic relationship started. I felt as if we are living in the memories of Rabindranath Tagore, Tenshin Okakura and Judge Radha Binod Pal. Also, I had the pleasure of receiving many people from Kolkata who came to visit me in New Delhi to talk about their affection with Japan or their efforts to pass on to the new generations their experiences with Japan.

   I believe that our relations have entered into a new chapter. India’s high growth is now the centre of world attention, and India is expected to become one of the biggest economies in the world in not so distant future. We would also like to realize dramatic expansion of our relations.

   Japan and India concluded a “Strategic Global Partnership” and there has been an impressive growth in our bilateral trade and investment in recent years. We will keep the momentum.

   In West Bengal as well, we have seen growing investment from Japan, such as by the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. Our Government has just decided to extend Yen Loans for the Kolkata Metro Railway Project. Now that Indo-Japan Cultural Centre has been inaugurated, we expect that people-to-people contact between Japan and Kolkata will also grow.

   Our bilateral relations have a huge potential waiting to be fully tapped. On my part, I will do my best to facilitate the expansion in our ties and, in this regard, I would like to count on your friendship and support.

Hideaki Domichi
Ambassador of Japan to India