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PM delighted with Rajni's popularity in Japan

December 14, 2006 18:25 IST

Tamil superstar Rajnikanth's blockbuster Odoru Maharaj  (a dubbed version of Rajni's 1995 Tamil hit Muthu) on Thursday came in for a special mention in the context of strengthening of Indo-Japan ties.

Referring to the movie, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, addressing the joint session of the Japanese Parliament, said he was delighted to hear about its popularity among the young people of Japan.

He added that Japan's own 'Odori Asimo' (the dancing robot) was also impressing children in India, a remark that received an all-round applause.

The prime minister also highlighted the role of food in promoting the relations between the two countries.

"I believe the number of Indian restaurants in Japan has increased phenomenally. I assure you that sushi and tempura are becoming popular in India," he said.

He said Japan and India are civilisational neighbours and the common heritage of Buddhism is 'our oldest bond'.

The two cultures have been enriched by mutual interaction throughout the history, Dr Singh noted.

He referred to the visit of Indian monk Bodhisena to Nara over a thousand years ago.

In modern times, he said, Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin had built new bridges of understanding between the two great Asian nations.

"The idea of a new partnership between Japan and India has found its moment today. I come here to give concrete shape to the idea so that the future generations of our countries will be able to thank us for the part we are trying to play in making the 21st century an Asian century," said Dr Singh, who is here on a four-day visit.


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