Kyoto: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a map of 'historic Benares' to Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa during his meeting here on Sunday.
MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the signing of Kyoto-Varanasi partnership agreement was the first step towards the ties between the two sides and added the pact will further move ahead.
"Yesterday only an agreement has been signed so it's the first step but when PM Modi met Kyoto Mayor and gave him a map of Benares which included the entire historic Varanasi and he said that we can learn many things from them. But it's the first step," he added.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Japan on Saturday to develop Varanasi into a 'smart city'.
The MoU focuses on heritage conservation and cooperation in art, culture and academics. It will also serve as a framework for the smart heritage cities programme.
Akbaruddin further said that the Kyoto Mayor gave a long presentation to Prime Minister Modi about how the city was developed as a smart, clean and green city.
"Kyoto, which is a historic city, is also a green city, smart city and a clean city. So, the Kyoto Mayor gave a long presentation to PM Modi that how he, despite Kyoto being a historic city, kept it a green city, smart city and clean city," he told ANI.
Talking about Prime Minister Modi's visit to CiRA (Center for iPS Cells Research and Application) at the Kyoto University, Akbaruddin said, "In his programme called Cutting Edge Science and Technology, the Prime Minister went to a Stem Cell Research Centre which is a part of Kyoto University and there a study was going on over Sickle Cell Anaemia that it affects tribals in few parts of India."
Akbaruddin added that Prime Minister Modi also talked to CiRA Director Professor Yamanaka, who is a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2012.
"The conversation went on for quite a long time and the goal is whether an Indian institute can collaborate with them," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Japan's Kyoto city on Saturday for his five-day bilateral visit to the nation, also met Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa today.
Prior to the meeting, he also attended a lunch hosted by the Kyoto Buddhist Association, where he said that his motive behind visiting the city was to see the way the people had safeguarded its ancient and traditional cultural environment even after so many struggles.
Earlier in the day, he also visited the famous Toji and Kinkaku-ji Temples in Kyoto, where he interacted with Japanese residents, and even posed for photographs with the citizens.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to meet the Governor of Kyoto, Keiji Yamada, later in the day before departing for Tokyo.