Kyoto: On day two of his visit to Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a presentation from Kyoto Mayor Daisaka Kadokawa on how the ancient tradition of Japan's cultural capital has been preserved while building it into a modern city.
During the over 40-minute presentation, Mayor Kadokawa explained how Kyoto was cleaned up by its citizens. He told Modi that local students actively participated in cleaning up the city and reducing the garbage to 40 per cent. Posters and billboards were discouraged and today the two remaining posters will be removed in the city, he said, adding that this exercise has been going on for several years.
The meeting comes a day after PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe signed the Kashi-Kyoto agreement which is aimed at using the Kyoto model for developing Modi's constituency Varanasi.
Modi, who represents Varanasi constituency in the Lok Sabha, wants to develop the sacred Indian city into a 'smart city' by using the experience of Kyoto. Modi presented a book to the Mayor in which he wrote,"I represent Benaras. I came to know how the city of Kyoto was developed." He also handed over a digital map of Varanasi to the Mayor, who said, "I would like to dedicate myself for promotion of interaction between India and Japan."
Kyoto has faced several challenges but it has preserved it's heritage. It has protected it's heritage and as and when it was needed technology was utilised but inspite of everything else Japan has managed to preserve, protect and maintain it's cultural heritage.
Modi also said that the reason he came to Kyoto was primarily cultural. "Kyoto has maintained its cultural heritage despite lot of troubles. Kyoto has incorporated modern needs with its cultural heritage. This city was built on the foundation of its cultural heritage.
In India, we are also trying to create a heritage city." Kyoto, with around 2000 temples and shrines, has been at the crossroads of history since the end of the Nara Period (794 AD). It was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years till the Emperor moved to Tokyo.
During the day, Modi also visited various other places in Kyoto also including the the KINKAKU Zen Buddhist temple, the Kyoto University stem cell research facility as well as the Toji temple with Shinzo Abe. Modi is scheduled to leave for Tokyo later in the day.