PM Narendra Modi remembered former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s efforts to take India-Japan ties to a new level

Pointing out that the success of Maruti-Suzuki signifies the strong India-Japan partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that relations between the two countries have reached new heights in the last eight years.

Addressing a programme marking the commemoration of 40 years of Suzuki in India at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi said, "when it comes to this friendship, every Indian definitely remembers our friend, former Prime Minister Late Shinzo Abe.”

Recalling when "Abe San" came to Gujarat and spent his time here, the Prime Minister said that it is fondly remembered by the people of Gujarat. “Today, PM Kishida is taking forward the efforts he made to bring our countries closer”, he added. From the bullet train in Gujarat-Maharashtra to the Rudraksh centre in Banaras in UP, many development projects are examples of India-Japan friendship, Prime Minister Modi noted.

In a video message, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the growth of Maruti Suzuki over the course of 4 decades embodies robust economic ties between India and Japan.

“Together with Prime Minister Modi I am determined to undertake the efforts to further develop the ‘Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership” and to realize a “Free and Open Indo Pacific”, he added.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Modi pointed out that Japan has been associated as a partner country of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit since it was started in 2009.

Referring to the resolve to create a mini Japan in Gujarat to make Japanese investors feel at home, he said many small measures were taken to realize this. The creation of many world-class golf courses and restaurants with Japanese cuisines and the promotion of Japanese language were some examples, he added.

Noting that about 125 Japanese companies along with Suzuki are operational in Gujarat, PM Modi said the JETRO-run support centre in Ahmedabad was providing plug-and-play facilities to many companies while Japan India Institutes for Manufacturing are training many people. The Prime Minister noted the contribution of ‘Kaizen’ in the development journey of Gujarat, adding that facets of Kaizen were applied by him in the PM's Office as well as other departments.

During the event, Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stones of two key projects of the Suzuki group in India - the Suzuki Motor Gujarat Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing Facility at Hansalpur, Gujarat and Maruti Suzuki’s upcoming vehicle manufacturing facility in Kharkhoda, Haryana. "Gujarat has emerged as a top automotive manufacturing hub in the world," PM Modi remarked.