Modi inaugurates Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at AMA, Ahmedabad
New Delhi, June 27, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a Zen Garden and a Kaizen Academy at the Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) via video conference today and termed the event as a symbol of the ease and modernity of the India-Japan relationship.
He thanked leaders of Hyōgo Prefecture, specially the Governor ToshizōIdo and Hyōgo International Association for their contribution in the establishment of the Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy.
He also praised the Indo-Japan Friendship Association of Gujarat for giving new energy to India-Japan relations.
Pointing to the similarities between "Zen" and Indian "Dhyan", the Prime Minister dwelled on the emphasis on inner peace along with outer progress and growth in the two cultures. Indians will find the glimpse of the same peace, poise and simplicity in this Zen garden, which they experienced in Yoga through the ages, he said.
"Buddha gave this ‘Dhyan’ this enlightenment to the world," he said.
Similarly, the Prime Minister highlighted both external and internal meanings of Kaizen which not only emphasizes "improvement" but "continuous improvement".
Modi recalled that, as Chief Minister, he implemented Kaizen in Gujarat administration. It was introduced in administrative training in Gujarat in 2004 and a special training camp was organized for the top civil servants in 2005.
He said "continuous improvement" was reflected in refinement of processes, leading to positive impact on governance.
Continuing with the importance of governance in national progress, he said that, after becoming Prime Minister, he brought his Kaizen-related experience of Gujarat to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and other Central Government departments. This has led to simplification of the processes and optimization of office space. Kaizen is being used in many departments, institutions and schemes of the Central Government, he said.
Modi spoke of his personal connect with Japan and his appreciation for affection of people of that country, their work culture, skills and discipline. He said that his assertion that “I wanted to create Mini-Japan in Gujarat” encapsulated the aspiration of warmth for visiting Japanese people.
The Prime Minister talked of Japan’s enthusiastic participation in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit over the years. He said more than 135 companies, ranging from automobile, banking to construction and pharma, have made Gujarat their base. Companies like Suzuki Motors, Honda Motorcycle, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Hitachi are involved in manufacturing in Gujarat. They are contributing to the skill development of the local youth. In Gujarat, three Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing are giving skill training to hundreds of youth with tie-up with technical universities and IITs. Furthermore, JETRO’s Ahmedabad Business Support Centre is providing plug and play work-space facility to up to five companies simultaneously. Many Japanese companies are being benefitted by this, he said.
Modi recalled that, as a matter of paying attention to the minute details, he made special efforts to improve golf facilities in Gujarat when, in an informal discussion, he realized that Japanese people love golf. At that time, golf courses were not very common in Gujarat. Today there are many golf courses in Gujarat. Similarly, there is spread of Japanese restaurants and Japanese language in Gujarat, he said.
The Prime Minister also expressed a desire to create a model of schools in Gujarat based on the school system of Japan. He underlined his appreciation of blend of modernity and moral values in the school system of Japan. He remembered fondly his visit to Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo.
Modi emphasized that, with Japan, India had the confidence of centuries-old cultural relations and also a common vision for the future. He pointed towards the strengthening of Special Strategic and Global Partnership with Japan. He also mentioned the Japan-plus mechanism in the PMO.
Touching upon his personal equation with the leadership of Japan, the Prime Minister recalled the visit of the former Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe to Gujarat. The visit gave a new momentum to the India-Japan relationship. He also elaborated on his common belief with the current Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that, in this period of pandemic, India-Japan friendship has become even more important for global stability and prosperity. Current challenges demand that our friendship and partnership gets even deeper, he said.
Modi also called for further spread of Kaizen and Japanese work culture in India and asked for more focus on business interaction between India and Japan.
Modi conveyed his wishes to Japan and people of Japan for the Tokyo Olympics.