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Speech by H.E. Mrs. Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa Ambassador of India

at the Reception hosted by Japan-India Association at Kensei Kinenkan

H.E. Mrs. Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa, newly appointed Ambassador of India to Japan, has made a speech at the welcoming reception at Kensei Kinenkan held on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012.
The Japan-India Association who hosted this reception has the pleasure to reproduce the speech of Ambassador Wadhwa as follows;

H.E. Mr. Yoshiro Mori, Former Prime Minister of Japan & Chairman, The Japan-India Association,

H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Former Prime Minister and President, Japan-India Parliamentary Friendship League,

H.E. Mr. Koro Bessho, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan,

Ambassador Hiroshi Hirabayashi, President, The Japan-India Association,

Mr. Ryuko Hira, Hon’ble President, Indian Chambers of Commerce, Japan,

Mr. Masahiro Sakane, Deputy Chairman, The Japan-India Association,
Representatives of the Ministries of the Government of Japan,
Leaders of the Japanese business community,
Hon’ble Directors of Japan-India Association,
Distinguished Guests,
Konnichiwa !Namaste !

Please accept my deepest gratitude for this welcome reception organized by the Japan-India Association for me. Though I have been in Japan for less than a month, I already feel extremely at home due to the warmth and wave of positive sentiment for India which I have encountered upon my arrival.

2. I am extremely happy to arrive in Japan at a time when our countries are celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
The vibrancy and the enthusiasm with which events have been planned and executed in different corners of Japan as well as India is a testimony to the genuine regard that our people feel for each other.
I would also like to thank all the people who have contributed their effort and goodwill to mark the 60th Anniversary of our bilateral relations.

3. India-Japan relations can be traced back far into history.
The cultural and historical bonds that link our two countries form the firm foundation of our relationship.
The fact that the Japan-India Association was founded more than a century ago, is a living testament to the genuine interest in Japan to maintain close ties with India.
The Japan-India Association has played a crucial role in promoting relations between our countries during this period and this commitment is today bearing fruits as our bilateral relations are witnessing an unprecedented deepening of engagement.
Japan is viewed in India as a close and most trusted friend.
This sentiment permeates every layer of Indian society from ordinary citizens to the highest echelons of Government and our corporate world.
Before my arrival in Japan, I met the political leadership in India as well as high-level representatives of Indian industry, and received a very unambivalent message from both that promoting relations with Japan is a top national priority.
This is both because of the congruence of our value systems as well as mutuality of interests in today’s changing global economic and strategic environment.

4. The institutional architecture for deeper engagement is in place.
We have agreements for a global and strategic partnership; we have a CEPA in place.
We also have annual Prime Minister level summits.
We have established dialogues in the strategic, economic, energy, high-tech and defense fields tasked with identifying areas of cooperation.
India – with its high growth rate, vast domestic market and young population – clearly complements the strengths of Japan.
What we need is investments in infrastructure and the manufacturing sectors so as to be able to productively use our labour force for the mutual good of both our countries.
There is recognition of this in Japan as can be seen from growing Japanese investments in India and projects such as the DFC and the DMIC which have the potential of transforming India.
Another area of importance for India is skill development.
While we have a young labour force, for them to be optimally productive it is necessary for them to receive training and be familiar with Japanese business management techniques and technology.
If major Japanese companies in India focus on skill development, they will find themselves benefiting from a large pool of young people who are cognizant with the Japanese way of doing business.

5. During my stay in Japan, I want to play the role of a facilitator and problem-resolver.
My Embassy stands ready to smoothen the way for Japanese corporations coming into India and to handhold Japanese SMEs who have a very valuable contribution to make to our two economies.
I want to promote sustained interaction in all fields, including in the soft areas of culture, education and research so as to widen the scope of cooperation between our countries.

6. In concluding, I would like to convey my deep appreciation in particular to former Prime Ministers H.E. Mr. Yoshiro Mori and H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda who have worked assiduously to build a multifaceted relationship between our two countries.
The array of dignitaries here today is a strong signal of the vitality and importance of our ties.
I thank you most humbly for honouring me with your presence and request your support during my stay in Japan.

7. I hope that I will be able to live up to your expectations and contribute to the further development of the close and friendly relations between our countries.

Thank you.

<Photo; Mr.Kenzo SAEKI>