Under the leadership of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and PM of India Narendra Modi, the countries have announced 2017 to be the ‘Year of India-Japan friendly Exchanges.’ In regard to the same the Embassy of Japan in India organised an event which was co-hosted by Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO).Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Japan to India, said, “Throughout the year 2017 both the countries will have a number of cultural and tourism related activities. It will allow a great opportunity to introduce various facets and charms of Japan to the people of India. Japan in India has a long standing cultural heritage taking us back to sixth century. We foresee the future of Japan-India growing stronger, given the fact that both the countries share a lot in common in regard to its tradition, heritage, culture and much more.”The government of Japan has also introduced a new feature in relaxing the student visa for Indian students commencing from February 1, 2017. “We hope this will encourage younger generation to discover Japan. We also plan to have 13 more offices in all over India by the end of March 2017. We believe that it will further amend the visa laws for Indians to apply for Japanese visa,” added Hiramatsu.JNTO President, Ryoichi Matsuyama had informed that in 2016 the number of inbound visitors from India to Japan reached 1,20,000. The number of outbound travellers from Japan to India was 2,30,000. Union Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, said, “We have a very long standing relationship with Japan. On different levels we are working together, and through a historic agreement signed between these two countries, we have entered into a strategic relationship. It will not just be a relationship on economic, strategic or business level, but a relationship between two societies that are so culturally intact.”Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, said, “Japan is the only country which combines progress, modernity, with its very unique credible culture and heritage. Once JNTO gets effective in tier II & tier III cities of India, soon people will start flying from India to Japan. On the other hand it is important for Japanese tourists to explore our Buddhist circuits, while they explore unique Indian heritage, wildlife, traditions, mountains and much more.”Under the recent Indo-Japan collaboration JNTO, Embassy of Japan and Japan Tourism Agency has announced the ‘Indo-Japan Film Project’. It will soon begin under Imtiaz Ali’s production house ‘Window Seat Films’ along with Japan’s theatre and film company Shochiku. The movie is named after the famous 1966 blockbuster Hindi film named ‘Love in Tokyo’. The movie will star a Japanese female protagonist and Indian male lead. The movie aims to highlight Japan’s heritage, cuisine, culture, and tourist attractions.