PM inaugurates Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at AMA, Ahmedabad

New Delhi, The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated a Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at AMA, Ahmedabad via video conference today.

Terming the dedication of the Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy, as a symbol of ease and modernity of India-Japan relationship, the Prime Minister thanked leaders of Hyōgo Prefecture specially the Governor ToshizōIdoand Hyōgo International association for their contribution in the establishment of the Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy. He also praised 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. Buddha gave this ‘Dhyan’ this enlightenment to the world, said the Prime Minister. Similarly, the Prime Minister highlighted both external and internal meanings of Kaizen which not only emphasizes ‘improvement’ but ‘continuous improvement’.

The Prime Minister, 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. ‘Continuous improvement’ was reflected in refinement of processes, leading to positive impact on governance.

Continuing with the importance of governance in national progress, the Prime Minister informed that, after becoming Prime Minister, he brought Kaizen related experience of Gujarat to 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, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister, underlined his personal connect with Japan and his appreciation for affection of people of Japan, 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 ‘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, Hitachi are involved in manufacturing in Gujarat.

They are contributing skill development of the local youth. In Gujarat, three Japan-India Institute 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.

Interestingly, the Prime Minister 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, informed the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also expressed a desire to create an model of schools in Gujarat based on 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.

Touching upon his personal equation with the leadership of Japan, the Prime Minister recalled visit of the former Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe to Gujarat. The visit gave a new momentum to India Japan relationship. He also elaborated on the his common belief with the current Japanese Prime MinisterYoshihide Sugathat 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, stressed the Prime Minister.

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 Tokyo Olympic.