Japan Ambassador Hiramatsu attends cultural Fest ‘Habba’

Bengaluru, February 14, 2017. Japan Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu attended the 13th Japan Habba, Bengaluru’s favourite annual Indo-Japan cultural festival, where he delivered his keynote speech. He emphasised on firm Indo-Japan relationship and mutual historical relationship of two countries.

He delivered an speech on the occasion of “2017 the year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges”: Past, Present and Future of Japan-India Relation and remembered the last 13 years, Japan Habba has been contributing to consolidating ties between the people of Karnataka and Japan. He remembered the ancient to modern history of mutual relationship. “In 1991, the “Indian Economic Crisis” tested the strength of the ties between our two countries. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the surge of oil price under the Gulf War reduced the foreign exchange reserves of India to a perilous level, which was barely enough to pay for its import needs for three weeks. When most developed countries were reluctant to offer finance to India, Japan, together with a few other countries, offered a substantial bridge loan to bail India out of the Balance of Payment Crisis. As you all know, after this crisis, India went through a major economic reform process, and actively invited foreign investments, especially in the manufacturing sector. Maruti Suzuki achieved a steady growth during the 1990’s, thanks to a positive automotive policy” he said.

Hiramatsu said that in 2003, India became the largest recipient of Japanese Official Development Assistance, or ODA. Since then, India stays at the top of the list almost every year, and in the last fiscal year, FY2015, the highest-ever volume of Japanese ODA loans was extended to India, more 3 than 350 billion yen.

Photo: Embassy of Japan

Source: Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (Embassy URL)