Thursday, June 20, 2024
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PM takes swipe at China, deplores ‘expansionist’ trend of some countries

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Modi visits Japanese school, narrates story of Lord Krishna to kids

Tokyo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday deplored the “expansionist” tendency among some countries which “encroach” upon seas of others, in oblique comments against China which is having a maritime dispute with Japan.
“The whole world accepts that the 21st century will belong to Asia. But I have a question. How should the 21st century be? We have to give an answer to this. It will depend on how deep and progressive our relationship (between India and Japan) is,” he said addressing business leaders of India and Japan here.
“We have to decide if we want to have ‘vikas vaad’ (development) or ‘vistar vaad’ (expansionism) which leads to disintegration. Those who follow the path of Buddha and have faith on ‘vikas vaad’, they develop.
But we see, those having ideas of the 18th century, engage in encroachments and enter seas (of others),” he said.
He did not name any country but the comments may be seen as targeting China which is engaged in territorial disputes with a number of its neighbours, including India, Japan and some others including Vietnam.
India and China share over 4,000 km of Line of Actual Control. China claims approximately 90,000 sq km of territory in Arunachal Pradesh besides 38,000 sq km in Jammu & Kashmir.
Also, relations between Japan and China have been tense over island disputes in the East China Sea and exploitation of undersea gas deposits in the area.
China claims 90 per cent of the South China Sea, believed to contain oil and gas deposits. Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan also lay claim to parts of the sea. Modi underlined the need for closer and deeper cooperation between India and Japan to champion the cause of global “vikas vaad (development) instead of vistar vaad (expansionism)”.
He underlined that India and Japan should work for promotion of peace and progress to address the needs of the humanity.
“India and Japan have a big responsibility. It is the responsibility of not only the governments and leaders but also of the businesses to see which way the world goes.” Viewing business fraternity as a “big driving force” for peace and progress, he said India wants to play a role for benefit of humanity.
Visits school
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited an elementary school here and mingled with the students, narrating them the story of Lord Krishna. Modi wanted to learn how the Japanese education system works and received a presentation in this regard at the Taimei Elementary School on the third day of his Japan visit.
Subsequently, he went to a music class where the children, in the age group of 7-8 years, sang a song for him. They also played music as he stood between them. Finding that some students were playing flute, he told them that music has the potential of attracting animals. As the students stood amused, he narrated the story of Lord Krishna.
“In India’s mythology, there is Lord Krishna. He used to play flute and that used to attract cows to him,” he said. He then played the flute for the children.
The Taimei Elementary School was functional as normal and there was no disruption despite the high profile visit because of which a security blanket was put there.
He also invited teachers from here to teach Japanese language in India and proposed online courses amid his pitch for enhanced cooperation in languages and social values among the Asian countries to make the 21st Century truly that of Asia.
“My intention to come here is to understand how modernisation, moral education and discipline has been blended into Japan’s education system. I have come as the oldest student to the 136-year-old school,” Modi said at the Taimei Elementary School.
The Prime Minister was given a detailed presentation by Deputy Minister for Education Maekawa Kehai about how Japan’s education system, particularly the one run by government, works.
He made some queries, including how syllabus is made, whether tests are the only criteria for promotion, whether punishment is awarded to students and how moral education is imparted to them.
“I feel enlightened now,” he said.
Noting that the whole world recognises that the 21st Century would belong to Asia, the Prime Minister said that to make it truly happen, Asia countries should enhance cooperation among themselves in languages and social values. (PTI)

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