President Kovind on 7-day state visit to Philippines and Japan from today: MEA

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Kovind will unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Centre of Peace Education at Miriam college

NEW DELHI, Oct 16 (PTI): President Ram Nath Kovind will embark on a two-nation trip to the Philippines and Japan from October 17-23, the External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday. He is visiting Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony of the Emperor of Japan Naruhito, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Vijay Thakur Singh, MEA Secretary (East), said the President will visit the Philippines from October 17-21 and Japan from October 21-23.

“The visit to the Philippines is being undertaken with a view to carry forward the high-level engagement that we have with them,” Singh said.

“The Philippines is a key partner of India in the ASEAN region and relations with the Philippines have been friendly and we have common values and our economic relationship has been growing,” she told reporters.

“In the Philippines, President Kovind will be given a ceremonial guard of honour at the Malacañang Palace and thereafter talks will commence between the presidents (President Kovind and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte) one to one followed by delegation-level talks,” she said

Singh said Duterte will also host a state banquet for President Kovind.

President Kovind will also unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the Centre of Peace Education at Miriam college there.

“He will also interact with a cross-section of people in the Philippines apart from the Indian community. He will also interact with the Indian community and that is an important part of his programme. He will also interact with people who have been fitted with Jaipur Foot and also with some of the children who had come to India for liver transplant treatment,” she said. From Manila, President Kovind will travel to Tokyo on October 21 to attend the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, she said.

“The participation of President Kovind in the enthronement ceremony signifies the high importance that we attach with Japan. It is a country with which we have a very special strategic and global partnership,” she said.

In Tokyo, the President will visit a Buddhist temple and plant a Bodhi tree to mark the deep traditional and civilisational bonds which India and Japan share and also underlines the shared heritage of Buddhism between the two countries, she said.

On October 22 and 23, President Kovind will participate in the ceremonies related to the enthronement. He will also participate in the official banquet hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and will also interact with the Indian community there.

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