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The Ganga Aarti ceremony was gorgeously showy within a solemn atmosphere: Japan PM Shinzo Abe
Varanasi reminds me of samsara, a teaching the Japanese have also valued since ancient times: Shinzo Abe
Japanese PM expresses his part of content on the flourishing trade and investment with India
Shinzo Abe appreciates India’s efforts in maintaining peace and prosperity in Asia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited Varanasi on December 12, 2015. Both the leaders offered prayers, performed and witnessed the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat.

Sharing his thoughts at a symposium, the Japanese Prime Minister quoted that the Ganga Aarti ceremony was “gorgeously showy within a solemn atmosphere.” PM Abe further added, “On the bank of the Mother River, as I allowed myself to become lost in the music and the rhythmic movement of the flames, I was dazzled at the bottomless depths of history connecting both ends of Asia.

PM Abe avowed that Varanasi reminded him of ‘samasara’, a teaching the Japanese have also valued since ancient times. He also mentioned about how teachings of Gautama Buddha had spread from India to Japan and exists between both countries as a ‘sutra’.

The Japanese PM expressed his part of content on the flourishing trade and investment with India. He appreciated India’s efforts in maintaining peace and prosperity in Asia.

Below is the excerpt of Japanese PM's speech at the“Shared Values and Democracy in Asia” Symposium:

On the bank of the “Mother Ganges” River

It was a little more than a month ago while I was visiting India that Prime Minister Modi kindly took me to Varanasi. There I experienced with him a Ganga Aarti ceremony, which began just as dusk fell and was gorgeously showy within a solemn atmosphere.

I knew that Varanasi was among the most sacred places, and while observing the ceremony, one thought after another struck me.

A feeling of respect for the flow of water... that is something we Japanese need no explanation to grasp. I might also add that this is why the Government of Japan has for a long time lent a helping hand in the remediation of the River Ganges.

Varanasi also reminded me of samsara, a teaching the Japanese have also valued since ancient times. People are born and ultimately die and transform into something else, and that is precisely why we must live treasuring the present. Somehow, we have been thinking that way.

Though I could not make it during my last trip, I knew that nearby was the place where the Buddha bestowed his very first teachings to his followers.

He told them to venture forth for the gain of many. This teaching spread to far-off Japan and lives on today as a sutra.

On the bank of the Mother River, as I allowed myself to become lost in the music and the rhythmic movement of the flames, I was dazzled at the bottomless depths of history connecting both ends of Asia.

Be it loving kindness, benevolence, fraternity, or harmony, I believe that in Asia, there extends an underground rootstock of thinking that supports democracy and values freedom and human rights.

From there, a beautiful and large-blossomed lotus flower is now coming into bloom. Coupled with increasingly flourishing trade and investment, it is bringing peace and prosperity to Asia. If this is not something for us to rejoice about, then I must ask, what on earth is?

At the beginning of a new year, as we unmistakably feel the curtain lifting on a new era for Asia, an era in which we make freedom, human rights, and democracy our own and respect the rule of law, Japan reaffirms its determination to continue to be a member of Asia that you can count on. With that resolve, I conclude my remarks.

Read full speech - http://japan.kantei.go.jp/97_abe/statement/201601/1215564_10999.html

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Prime Minister participates in the first Outreach Session of G7 Summit
June 12, 2021
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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the first Outreach Session of the G7 Summit today.  

The session, titled ‘Building Back Stronger - Health’, focused on global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and on strengthening resilience against future pandemics. 

During the session, Prime Minister expressed appreciation for the support extended by the G7 and other guest countries during the recent wave of COVID infections in India. 

He highlighted India's ‘whole of society’ approach to fight the pandemic, synergising the efforts of all levels of the government, industry and civil society.   

He also explained India’s successful use of open source digital tools for contact tracing and vaccine management, and conveyed India's willingness to share its experience and expertise with other developing countries.

Prime Minister committed India's support for collective endeavours to improve global health governance. He sought the G7's support for the proposal moved at the WTO by India and South Africa, for a TRIPS waiver on COVID related technologies. 

Prime Minister Modi said that today's meeting should send out a message of "One Earth One Health" for the whole world. Calling for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to prevent future pandemics, Prime Minister emphasized the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies in this regard. 

PM will participate in the final day of the G7 Summit tomorrow and will speak in two Sessions.