The tournament was hosted by the Japanese golfers to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

It was a memorable day for golfers from both India and Japan as they came together to play the Indo-Japan Diplomatic Relationship Cup Golf Tournament at the par-72 Coimbatore Golf Club (CGC) course in Chettipalayam, here on Sunday.

The tournament was hosted by the Japanese golfers to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

“It was a casual visit of six golfers to the Ooty Gymkhana and to the CGC that later blossomed into this ‘Diplomatic Relationship Cup’,” said CGC Golf Captain Shyam Sunder.

“Last year, we had about 12 golfers coming to our Club. This year, it has increased to 15. Interestingly, it was they who sparked the idea of having this tournament,” he added.

He said whenever they came they livened up the atmosphere.

“And, thankfully the weather gods have been kind to them today.” “It was a totally different experience for each one of us. Beyond nationality and beyond culture we came here to enjoy. And, it turned out to be great,” said Koji Takei, Plant Manager, Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt. Ltd.

“They were very sincere in what they did, and the hospitality was fabulous,” said Yoji Taguchi of MC Craftsman Machinery Pvt. Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation. Taguchi, who is also a CGC member, said it was a really challenging course.

“It was tough and windy but we enjoyed very much.”

“The course was long but the weather was very comfortable unlike in Chennai,” said Shigeo Hayashi, Managing Director, Kubota Agricultural Machinery India Pvt. Ltd.

He said the team is here to build relationship and not sign business deals. “And, that’s the truth. First we need to understand the personality of the people here. If we do that, then everything comes easy.”

Michihiro Tanaka, Director, JFE Shoji Trade India Pvt. Ltd, said India is an emerging market next to China. “And, every Japanese looks forward to come and start production-based business here.”

He said most of the Japanese are still not familiar with the country. “But they will do quickly.”

“Communication is also not easy for us though most of them understand English here. So, we rely on eye-to-eye talk,” said Hayashi.

“India still needs to strengthen its infrastructure. The connectivity and the facilities that surround us can be improved,” he added.

“More Japanese should come to India and vice versa. Only then the relationship can be really strong,” quickly added Taguchi.

“It was a wonderful gesture to have had a tournament coinciding with the 60th anniversary. I would be glad if more people could come here. And, one thing we could give them, besides the hospitality, is a pleasant weather,” said D. Lakshminarayanaswamy, the CGC president.

“I must admit they are a wonderful set of guys. They were very friendly and, it was quite natural that a nice camaraderie prevailed. The spirit overall was very good,” he added.

“They played to the spirit of the game. We shared a good understanding and that made the day enjoyable for all of us,” said CGC Secretary Gautham Selvaraj.

“The Japanese are very passionate about golf. It was quite evident because even after the round was over you could see them do the practice swings and engage themselves in animated conversations just like any golf addict,” said Sathish Balagopal, a CGC member.

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