The Japanese Deputy Mayor, who reached here today, held an open meeting with district municipal corporation officials, local MLAs and local corporators to discuss plans for development of the temple town on the lines of Kyoto.
Ogasawara's visit comes in the wake of a Sister City Partnership Agreement signed between Kyoto and Varanasi during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Japan.
Ogasawara said in an agreement between any two cities, works are mostly carried out by Japan's private industries, but here the Kyoto-Varanasi agreement was signed in front of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
"And so our Japanese government, Kyoto administration and Japan's private industries all together will lend their full cooperation in the modernisation of Varanasi," he said."Both historical cities Kyoto and Varanasi share a lot of similarities. Kyoto too is an old city of Japan which has gone through a drastic transformation and has been modernised while keeping its heritage structures intact.
"All experiences and knowledge of Kyoto's modernistation will be shared with Varanasi for its development," he said.Ogasawara said this was his first and short visit to Varanasi, but there would be more such visits by Japanese delegations to understand the ground realities of this city.
He told reporters that it would be early to give any suggestion for the development of the city now.
"The ground-level problems here will be clearly understood only after some�more visits and then suggestions can be given and works can be done for development," he said.
At the meeting, Varanasi Mayor Ram Gopal Mohale urged Ogasawara and the Japanese government to collaborate in the education sector.
Mohale said Varanasi has four national and international leveluniversities which can provide�education in collaboration with Japanese universities to Indian as well as Japanese students. He said a nodal committee should be formed for the execution of development works to be carried out by Japanse government and its agencies here.
Varanasi MLA Shyam Deo Roy Chaudhary sought help from Japan in the cleaning of the Ganga.
Late in the evening, Ogasawara held a meeting with industrialists. Mohale said Ogaswara will visit some places in the city tomorrow.