Lumbini and Japan’s Koyasan city establish sisterly relations
A formal agreement to establish sisterly relations between two world renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Lumbini and Koyasan, was signed Saturday afternoon at Koyasan. Ambassador Madan Kumar Bhattarai signed the agreement on behalf of Lumbini Development Trust while Mayor of Koyasan Yoshiya Hirano did it for Koyasan.
The function was held in the playground of 108-year old Koya Elementary School in the presence of a large number of students, guardians, teachers, top officials of Wakayama Prefecture and Koyasan, leading monks and religious authorities, scholars n professors of Koyasan Buddhist University and local residents who had turned out in large numbers to witness the event that was held in the interval of sports tournament.
Also present on the occasion was one of the topmost leaders of Japan and Chairman of Japan-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship League Toshihiro Nikai who made a special gesture to attend the event despite his busy preoccupations with parliamentary proceedings till late night yesterday. Two other members of the National Diet Masato Ishida and Hirofumi Kado were also present while another MP Yosuke Tsuruho sent a written message.
Nikai pledged full cooperation to engage in reconstruction and revival of tourism and hoped that the new agreement would pave the way for fostering mutual cooperation between the two holy sites.
After the program Ambassador Madan Kumar Bhattarai planted a sapling of Rhododendron plant that is a common flower in Nepal and Koyasan as it is our national flower and Koyasan regards it as its symbol. Also present during the signing ceremony were senior officials of Japanese Foreign Ministry.