Festival of India in Japan inaugurated

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) The Festival of India in Japan was inaugurated by union Tourism Minister Shripad Naik and Japanese Tourism Minister Akihiro Ohta in Tokyo, an official statement said Tuesday.

The year-long festival was launched Monday and is being conducted by the Embassy of India, Tokyo in collaboration with the culture ministry.

Naik said that the festival “represents India’s major cultural foray into Japan on a large scale for the first time since 1988, almost 26 years ago”. It will cover 20 cities.

The festival is being conducted in two phases – the Oct phase-I comprises a series of dance productions being presented in Japan; the second phase in Feb 2015 will comprise the Buddhist art exhibition which will be presented in the Tokyo National Museum.

Other events include a Buddhist conference being conducted by the International Buddhist Council of India and Buddhist exhibitions by the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara. “Plans are afoot to conduct a film festival and food festival during the Festival of India in Japan,” Naik said.

In his opening remarks, the Japanese minister expressed the hope that the Buddhist exhibition and the Buddhist circuits being developed in India will result in larger Japanese tourist flow to India and enhanced Japanese interest in Indian historical monuments.

The festival would include a dance festival, literary festival, food festival, film festival, an exhibition on Indian Buddhist art, Buddhist conferences, a Buddha Mahotsava comprising Buddhist chanting and lama dances.

Some institutions under the culture ministry like the Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai; Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi; Jawaharlal Nehru Manipuri Dance Academy, Shillong; Kutiyattam Kendra, Thiruvananthapuram along with the ministry of tourism and ministry of information and broadcasting would be participating in the year-long events.

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