Kolkata: Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was on Sunday conferred with the Netaji Award 2022 by the Netaji Research Bureau on the 125th birth anniversary of the legendary freedom fighter.
Consul general of Japan in Kolkata, Nakamura Yutaka, received the honour on behalf of Abe at a function organised by the bureau at the Elgin Road residence here of the national icon.
Abe expressed his gratitude in a message read out by the consul general.
“As former Prime Minister of Japan and in my capacity as a member of the House of Representatives, I am determined to do my utmost to continue contributing to the development of bilateral relations,” he said.
Abe said he sincerely hoped that Japan and India’s friendship and global partnership will be further strengthened in wide-ranging areas including political, economic and cultural fields.
Prof Sugata Bose, the grandnephew of Subhas Chandra Bose, and Director of the Netaji Research Bureau, described Abe as a great admirer of the freedom icon.
Japan’s ambassador to India Satoshi Suzuki addressed the function virtually from Delhi.
Sugata Bose later told reporters that he wants the new generation of the country to take lessons from the great patriot’s ideals.
“Several beautiful programmes have been held since morning on the occasion of Netaji’s birth anniversary, including the one at the Netaji Bhavan here,” he said.
Sugata Bose, who also attended a ceremony where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee garlanded the statue of the freedom fighter, said Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary celebrations have gained international prominence.
He welcomed the central government’s decision to install a statue of Netaji at India Gate in the national capital.
“The greatest tomb to remember a great man is to propagate his legacy, and in case of Netaji, it is his ideal of equality and unity; he brought together Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians, men and women, people of different regions by giving them equal rights,” he said.
“Netaji’s life and work are transparent like glass,” Sugata Bose added.
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