Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to in some way be a part of this ceremony in Besakih, Karangasem, Bali.
In 2009, students from Besakih travelled to Isehara, Japan, for an exchange program and performed beautiful Balinese dances that captured the attention of all who saw them. During their stay, they fell in love with Japanese persimmon trees and I am truly touched that Tako-Tako Agare decided to plant persimmon trees in Besakih as a token of friendship and to honour the dreams of Besakih children.
The persimmon tree is long-lived, has many branches with beautiful flowers, and produces delicious, sweet fruit. Though its varieties differ from country to country, I believe that everywhere it grows it is valued for its delicate flavour and nutritional value. And just as both the people of Indonesia and Japan can share an appreciation of the persimmon, we can also share an appreciation for each other’s cultures and traditions. In this way, we can learn more of the similarities between us and of the ties that bind us together in friendship and cooperation, and build on this foundation to ensure peace, prosperity and stability in our region.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Local Government of Bali, especially Governor Made Mangku Pastika, and the Regent of Karangasem, I Wayan Geredeg, for their support.
I certainly hope that these trees will grow healthily and put down deep roots, just as the relationship between Japan and Indonesia should grow stronger and benefit the peoples of both our countries. I also hope and trust that these trees will bring happiness to the Balinese people, and help to remind them of their friends in Japan and of the genuine importance of preserving our natural environment.
Thank you. Om Santhi, Santhi, Santhi Om