Oct. 27, 2016, Lumbini: Lumbini, the holy birthplace of the Lord Buddha and world cultural heritage property and Koya Town of Japan have been twinned as sister city. Koya town located on a plateau atop Mt. Koya in Ito District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan is known as the centre of Japanese Buddhism and World Cultural Heritage site. These two cities share commonality of Buddhist atmosphere where large number of Buddhist and peace loving people visit every year to pay homage to the Lord Buddha and to be benefitted from Buddha’s timeless teaching of non-violence, compassion and universal brotherhood.
A Japanese delegation in the lead of Mr. Hirano Yoshiya, the Mayor of Wakayama Prefecture visited Lumbini yesterday. The delegation was accompanied by Speaker Ms. Junko Tokora, Koya Town Assembly, First Secretary of Japanese Embassy, Nepal Mr. Kiyahiko Hamada, Prof. Okuyama Naoji, Director of Research Institute of Esoteric Buddhist Culture, Member Mr. Tatsuo Hori, Wakayama Prefectural Assembly, Executive Director Mr. Hiroyuki Tsui, Wakayama Prefectural Government, Director General Mr. Fumikazu Kuramoto, Secretariat of the Koya Town Assembly, Director Mr. Fumikazu Kuramoto, Secretariat of the Koya Town Assembly, Director Mr. Yukihiro Tsujimoto, Planning and Secretariat Division, Koya Town, and Official Mr. Shuji Okakita, Planning and Secretariat Division, Koya Town.
Lumbini Development Trust hosted a welcome, sites visits to Lumbini and Kapilavastu dinner and lunch to the delegates. Member Secretary AjitmanTamang, Project Chief Iman Singh Muktan and LDT officials welcomed the delegatesin Lumbini. Information Chief Hari D. Rai guided the delegated in Lumbini while Liaison Office Kathmandu Chief Gyanin Rai and Archaeological Office Himal Kumar Upreti guided them to Kapilavastu sites.
The agreement was signed by Vice Chairman Ven. Nigrodha from behalf of LDT and Mayor Mr. Hirano Yoshiya from behalf of Koya City to formally establish Sister city relation between the Buddhist cities amid a gathering of Japanese delegates, LDT officials, journalists includingTokushin Kasai, the Goodwill Ambassador of LDT.
Vice Chairman Ven. Nigrodha welcomed the delegates formally and said that he was very glad to sign the agreement of sister city between between Lumbini and Koya Town. He also expressed his sincere gratitude to government and people of Japan for their consistent support to Lumbini, Buddhism and Nepal. He further opined that the new door had been opened in the field of Nepal-Japan cooperation for mutual development of our Buddhist sites. Mayor Hirano Yoshiya expressed happiness to sign the agreement in Lumbini and thanked LDT for warm welcome. He further said that Japan and Nepal have long and friendly relation. The two countries share many commonalities among people’s behavior and religion, he further added and assured of continued support and mutual cooperation in development of Buddhism and world peace.
Tokushin Kasai, the Goodwill Ambassador of LDT and Chairman of Lumbini Hotel Kasai also declared a four-year scholarship for one Nepali master level student in Koya University, Japan to mark a happy beginning of sister city relation between Lumbini and Koya Town.