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Narendra Modi describes bond with Japan as 'stronger than Fevicol'

Tuesday, 2 September 2014 - 7:01pm IST | Place: TOKYO | Agency: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today termed his Japan trip as "very successful" and hoped that India's infrastructure will improve and the country will become clean with the help of $35 billion promised by Japan over five years, the highest ever amount ever. Winding up his official programme on the penultimate day of his five-day visit, Modi expressed gratitude to Japan for reposing "trust" in India and demonstrating its friendship with a quip "yeh fevicol se be zyada mazboot jod hai (this bond is stronger than that of fevicol)".

"This visit has been very successful," Modi said at the Indian community reception hosted in his honour here. "There has been talk about billions and millions. But there has never been talk of trillions," he said, referring to 3.5 trillion Yen ($35 billion or 2,10,000 crore) promised by Japan to India through public and private funding over the five years for various works, including building of smart cities and cleanup of the Ganga river.

"This is a big achievement. My biggest happiness is that Japan trusted us," he said at his last official programme after a hectic day of events and meetings. Talking in the context of trust, he referred to Japan's decision yesterday to lift ban on six Indian entities, including HAL. The ban had been imposed in the aftermath of 1998 nuclear tests. Referring to signing of an MoU under which Varanasi will be cleaned up and developed learning from the experience of Japanese 'smart city' Kyoto, Modi said, "we can learn from each other".

"I was born in Gujarat but these days I am at the service of Varanasi (in Uttar Pradesh). Kyoto is also a very small city and they have large number of temples like in Varanasi.
But they have modernised while preserving heritage," the Prime Minister said. He noted that 17 structures in Kyoto were in the UNESCO World Heritage list, which was not a mean thing.

Talking about his 'clean up' agenda, Modi said the issue was close to his heart as it would be a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, for whom cleanliness was the dearest thing. "Mahatma gave so much to us. What did we give to Mahatmaji?" He said it was because of this that he had asked the countrymen to make India clean by 2019, the 150th anniversary of the Father of the Nation.

Modi used the occasion to suggest to the Indians in Japan to write to their relatives in friends in India to contribute to the cleanliness drive, at least in their neighbourhood. "Tell them (relatives and friends) that such is the cleanliness in Japan and the same should be replicated there," he said. He also had an innovative idea of boosting tourism in India as he asked each NRI, including in Japan, to encourage at least five families to visit India once a year. That will promote tourism and lead to improvement in incomes of common Indians, including 'chai walas' (tea sellers), he said.

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