Konnichiwa, Bengaluru! 

A football fan of 50 years, Tsutomu is delighted at the results. “I am pleased with the progress of the Japanese team, and many Indians have also congratulated us.

Published: 03rd December 2022 01:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2022 01:38 AM   |  A+A-

Nakane Tsutomu at the recently-held Japan Food Fest.

Nakane Tsutomu at the recently-held Japan Food Fest.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The land of the rising sun shone its blazing light on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar as Japan qualified for the knock-out stages in dramatic fashion after beating juggernauts Spain and Germany. While everyone from the Eastern island nation is celebrating the success, one prominent Japanese national smiles quietly in the city. He is Nakane Tsutomu, the Consul-General of Japan in Bengaluru.  

A football fan of 50 years, Tsutomu is delighted at the results. “I am pleased with the progress of the Japanese team, and many Indians have also congratulated us. I am sure that there will be many sleepless nights ahead until our team achieves its goal of reaching the top eight,” he says. 

Having arrived in the city five months ago, this is his first time in India. “I arrived from Japan at the end of June. The climate in Bengaluru is pleasant and the people are friendly. I have also become accustomed to the taste of South Indian cuisine, and chicken and vegetable curries are my favourites. But it will take some time for me to get used to the traffic jams and horns,” shares Tsutomu. 

As this year marks the 70th year of India-Japan diplomatic relations, which began in 1952, Tsutomu believes Japan’s relations with Karnataka have always been good. “There are 220 Japanese companies with 519 offices in Karnataka. The number of Japanese residents is approximately 1,400. In terms of cultural exchange, the Japan Food Fest was held in November for the first time since 2020, attracting approximately 2,000 visitors. But looking ahead, we would like to strengthen the relationship between the two countries from the grassroots level, as we have done with the Japanese Film Festival,” he says. 

Speaking of the Japan Film and Music Festival (JFF), happening between December 9 and 11 at the PVR Orion Mall, Tsutomu says, “I am grateful that Indians are curious about Japanese animation, which has led to an interest in our country’s heritage. To get to know one another, it is important to first understand each other’s culture and language. Japanese culture and customs share some similarities with Buddhism, which was introduced by India.

So, I think it will be easy for Indians to become familiar with our ways and customs,” he says, hoping that the audience will enjoy feature-length anime films by Makoto Shinkai, whose works are also popular in India and is the main attraction at the festival, as well as the concert by the rock band Radwimps at JFF. 

He believes art can be a powerful tool in bridging international divides. “Culture and art can play an important role in developing diplomatic relations. They are the essence of it all and their understanding 
will help us in the long run,” concludes Tsutomu.

Ahead of the Japan Film and Music Festival celebrating the 70th year of India-Japan relations, Nakane Tsutomu, Japanese Consul-General here, speaks about his stay in the city and his impressions, and the ongoing football fever.

India Matters


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp