P Narasimha Karanth from Bengaluru was given the Japanese foreign minister’s commendation in a closed ceremony in the city on Tuesday. He is a businessman.
“The government of Japan has recognised Mr Karanth’s outstanding contribution towards improving the economic relations between the two countries. His selfless contribution to promoting Japanese culture and language has also been recognised,” Sugita Akiko, Consul General of Japan in Bengaluru, explained the reason for the honour.
Applauding Karanth, Katanori Otsuji, president of the Japanese Association, said, “Sometimes, it’s difficult to do business in India but he has always ensured smooth operation of the business.”
Karanth is one of the founding members of the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IJCCI), which is active in Karnataka since 2005.
He also played a key role in setting up the Dialogue and Monitoring Committee, and the Project Facilitation Committee, both in 2009.
These committees have since acted as an interface between Japanese businesspersons and the government officials in India.
“They have facilitated business expansions between the two countries,” says Karanth.
But there is scope for more collaboration between India and Japan, he feels.
“Especially in the software sector. The hardware can be sourced from Japan and software from India. Developing this idea would be the ideal next step,” he explains.
In fact, the IJCCI has received a grant of Rs 87 crore from Japan to establish an ‘Intelligent Traffic System’ in Bengaluru.
“The plan is under execution. It will improve the traffic situation in the city by about 20%. People will be able to see the results in the next 18 months hopefully,” Karanth tells Metrolife.
Business aside, Karanth believes Indians should also embrace the Japanese culture, especially their etiquette.
“We are in talks with the Japanese Foundation to organise training sessions (on Japanese etiquette),” he informs.