The Varanasi International Cooperation and Convention Centre, as a “Symbol of the Friendship between Japan and India”, supported by Japan’s Grant Aid, was officially opened by Prime Minister Modi, together with Ambassador Suzuki
New Delhi: The opening ceremony of the Varanasi International Cooperation and Convention Centre (VCC), which has been constructed by Japan's Grant Aid through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was held in the city of Varanasi in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). The ceremony was attended by Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, Mr. Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of UP, and other dignitaries from India, and H.E. Mr. SUZUKI Satoshi, Ambassador of Japan to India, Mr. MATSUMOTO Katsuo, Chief Representative of JICA India and other officials from Japan. H.E. Mr. SUGA Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, delivered his congratulatory message through video.
At the ceremony, Prime Minister Modi said, “The friendship between Japan and India is one of the most trusted ones in the world, both strategically and economically, and Japan has always been the most reliable partner in India's development. The Varanasi International Cooperation and Convention Centre, named "Rudraksh", will be the biggest source of power for new India. With Rudraksh, Varanasi will become the centre of art, culture and business promotion. Rudraksh is now the new development hub of Varanasi. I would like to thank the Japanese people and the Japanese government for their efforts in building this Rudraksh.”
Prime Minister Suga said in his video message, "I am very pleased to see that the (Varanasi) International Cooperation and Convention Center was built as a symbol of friendship between Japan and India.” “I hope that this center will be used as a stage to showcase close Japan-India cooperation through hosting international conferences and cultural and art events, and become a new symbol of friendship between Japan and India”. Prime Minister Suga also said, “Japan and India make utmost efforts to further develop our bilateral ties under the “Special Strategic and Global Partnership,” through cooperation in such areas as green society, digital, cyber, healthcare and enhancing connectivity”. (The full text of the message of Prime Minister Suga is attached.)
Ambassador Suzuki commented after the ceremony, “It is our great honour that Japan has shared the special status of supporting the construction of a centre for the dissemination of culture and art to the world from Varanasi, which has long occupied an important position in the spiritual landscape in India. We must make the most of this new Varanasi International Convention Centre to promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges between Japan and India. I would like to dedicate my best efforts to further develop the wonderful friendship we have between Japan and India.”
Mr. MATSUMOTO Katsuo, Chief Representative of JICA India, said, “It is quite significant that an international convention centre, a symbol of India-Japan friendship, is built in a culturally richest and the most traditional holy city of Varanasi in India. This demonstrates a long-standing mutual trust between the two countries. The latest Japanese technology including energy conservation and appealing aesthetics were applied in the building construction. I hope that citizens of Varanasi would love this marvel. It is expected that the centre will be effectively used for cultural events, academic meetings, and various activities by the citizens.”