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Dr Ambedkar's statue unveiled at Koyasan University in Japan

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today unveiled a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar at the Koyasan University in Japan.

A memorandum of understanding between the Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University and the Koyasan University was also signed on this occasion.

"Feeling proud & blessed!," Fadnavis later tweeted.

Wakayama prefecture's governor Yoshinobu Nisaka, Maharashtra industries minister Subhash Desai, Dalit leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ramdas Athawale and former Maharashtra minister Sulekha Kumbhare were also present at the ceremony.

"This statue is a gift from people of Maharashtra and India to the people of Koyasan and Japan. Dr Ambedkar has taught us the values of equality, inclusion which he enshrined in the Constitution of India. Ambedkar gave justice to all weaker sections by providing affirmative action in the Constitution and showed us the path towards equality," the Chief Minister said on the occasion.

Fadnavis also noted that while Koyasan is celebrating 1,200th year of its foundation, India and the rest of the world is celebrating 125th birth anniversary year of Dr Ambedkar.

He also thanked the Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka and others for their help in installing the statue. Fadnavis also offered

Water from river Tamagava at Koyasan Sanctuary, established 1,200 years ago by the Buddhist Monk Kobo Daishi.

"I would also like to thank the head of the temple and Koyasan University for allowing this statue to be built here," Fadnavis said.

Apart from being a great social reformer and jurist, Ambedkar was also one of the world's greatest Buddhist leaders, Fadnavis noted, adding that he was proud that he belonged to Nagpur city where Ambedkar converted to Buddhism at a mass ceremony.

Fadnavis, who is on four-day tour of Japan, also travelled from Osaka to Tokyo in a bullet train today.

Japan's minister for transport Toshiya Morishige who accompanied the Chief Minister briefed him about the train.

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First Published: Thu, September 10 2015. 20:22 IST