1. Ambassador Hiramatsu made speeches at the opening ceremony of “India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018” and at “Dialogue with States” on 14 November during his visit to Meghalaya.
2. “India International Cherry Blossom Festival” is organized by the State Government of Meghalaya, Meghalaya Forest and Environment Department, Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), at the bloom of cherry blossom every year since 2016. This year, Embassy of Japan in India; Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR); Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI); Japan Foundation New Delhi; Shillong-based think tank, Asian Confluence; and North East Council (NEC) provided cooperation for the festival.
At the opening ceremony, Ambassador Hiramatsu and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Mr. Conrad Sangma made addresses. Ambassador Hiramatsu mentioned that cherry blossom is very special to the people of Japan and the full bloom of the cherry flowers in Shillong is the symbol of the friendship between Japan and India as well as the friendship between Japan and North East. Ambassador Hiramatsu shared a very successful outcome of PM Modi’s visit to Japan last month and expressed his wish for even stronger bonds between Japan and North East.
At “India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018”, Japan is featured through Japanese food corner by Japanese chefs, Judo performance by Mr. Hiroyuki Mizuno from All Japan Judo Federation, Japanese movie screening, Japanese drum performance by Delhi Japanese Drums Club, study in Japan session by University of Tokyo and Ritsumeikan University, and briefing on Japanese cherry blossom-related culture by Dr. Toshio Katsuki from Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tokyo. The link to the address of Ambassador Hiramatsu at the opening ceremony of “India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018” is here.
3. “Dialogue with States” focuses on various cooperation between Japan and Indian States. The first dialogue was organized by Embassy of Japan in India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in the State of Bihar last June. The second dialogue was held today with the support of the State Government of Meghalaya, FICCI, Meghalaya Forest and Environment Department, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Japan Foundation New Delhi and others. Ambassador Hiramatsu introduced the achievements of PM Modi’s visit to Japan as well as cooperation between Japan and Meghalaya in connectivity, forest resource management, disaster management and people-to-people/cultural exchanges in his speech, “Japan and Meghalaya: Compatibility and Great Potential in Cooperation”. About 100 participants took part in the event including Mr. Sangma, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya, representatives of industries, academics, staffs of the state government. They discussed the possibility of future cooperation between Japan and Meghalaya. The link to the speech of Ambassador Hiramatsu at the “Dialogue with States” is here.