Mukesh Patel appointed as Honorary Consul of Japan in Gujarat

Gandhinagar: Mukesh Patel, President of Indo-Japan Friendship Association, Gujarat has been appointed as Honorary Consul of Japan in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. His appointment for a five-year term has been made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan and the same came to be announced by the Consul General of Japan in Mumbai Dr. Yasukata Fukahori and the Ambassador of Japan Mr. Hiroshi Suzuki at the Japan’s National Day Celebrations to commemorate the Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.

The Consul General announced that this was Japan’s first appointment of an Honorary Consul in India. Japan-India Diplomatic Relations, which started in 1952, have currently entered its 72nd Year.

Honorary consuls are appointed to safeguard the interests of Japan and its people and to promote cultural exchange with foreign countries in regions or territories where Japan does not have a diplomatic mission. Their specific duties vary according to the local circumstances but normally involve such activities as helping Japanese citizens in emergencies and assisting with cultural exchange activities conducted locally by the Embassy of Japan.

Normally honorary consuls are people who are based in the regions or territories concerned. As they are not Japanese civil servants, there are limitations to the duties they are authorised to perform. For instance, they are not authorised to issue passports or visas and cannot authenticate documents related to nationality or residence.

In his Felicitatory Address the Ambassador of Japan said that this was a news to celebrate, as with this appointment the friendship between the State of Gujarat and Japan will be enhanced.

In response to his appointment, Mukesh Patel remarked that he has been associated with Japan for over 51 years since his student days in 1972 and has worked with dedication for promoting the bilateral relations pioneering the vision and mission of making Gujarat the Mini-Japan of India. The privileged status granted to him will further embolden him to carry forward this pursuit with added vigour.

In 2017, Mukesh Patel was awarded the distinguished honour of the ‘Order of the Rising Sun’ by the Emperor of Japan for promotion of Japan India Friendship.

Patel has also played a key role in setting up of the Japan Information & Study Centre, Language and Cultural Centres and the Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at the Ahmedabad Management Association.