Ambassador's Message
Ambassador Hiramatsu

May 2018

Greetings from the Embassy of Japan!

Two years have gone by since I was appointed Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Bhutan. During this period, the Japan-Bhutan relations have greatly flourished, and the ties between the peoples of the two countries have become stronger than ever.

I am personally committed to working towards further strengthening the relationship. Having already visited Bhutan 10 times, I have met with numerous Bhutanese people, including the members of the Royal family and government officials, and exchanged views with Japanese nationals in Bhutan who all have been contributed to cultivating friendly relations between the two countries at the grass-roots level, either through development cooperation efforts or Japanese language education.

The long history of cooperation and friendship between Japan and Bhutan originates from the field of agriculture, dating back even before the establishment of the formal diplomatic relations. Late Dasho Keiji Nishioka, who made significant contribution towards the improvement in agricultural productivity of Bhutan, is well known to everyone in the country - from the elderly to children.

The main highlight of Japan-Bhutan relations in the recent past is the visit to Bhutan by Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino, in June last year. This memorable visit received heightened attention in both countries and was keenly followed by millions of Japanese people, by way of beautiful pictures and images relayed on television and other media.

The year 2016 marked the milestone of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bhutan, and many events to commemorate the momentous occasion were held in both countries. On this occasion, we witnessed the dramatic burgeoning of people-to-people exchanges, thanks to a goodwill offer by the Bhutanese Government for Japanese tourists, which resulted in five-fold increase in Japanese tourists visiting Bhutan from the previous year. I sincerely hope more and more Japanese people visit Bhutan in the future and enjoy the beautiful nature and warm hospitality of its people firsthand.

Fresh in our memory is also the recent visit to Japan by H.E. Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of Bhutan, and Hon. Mr. Damcho Dorji, Foreign Minister of Bhutan, last April. At the Summit Meeting, the two Prime Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in the areas including agriculture, health, education, human resources development, etc. They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concerns. Lyonchhen Tobgay and his delegation also visited Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture to witness the recovery of the region since the Great East Japan Earthquake. During his visit to the Soma Mayor’s office, Lyonchhen Tobgay conveyed the message to the citizens by His Majesty the King of Bhutan, who himself visited the city in 2011. On the last day of the stay, the meeting between the two Foreign Ministers was held at the residence of former Japanese Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, in Oiso Town, Kanagawa Prefecture. Following the meeting, a working dinner was hosted by Foreign Minister Taro Kono, where in-depth discussions on regional and international matters took place, joined by Prime Minister Tobgay.

I accompanied Prime Minister Tobgay and his delegation during their stay in Japan and was strongly moved to hear Prime Minister Tobgay wholeheartedly and repeatedly expressing his gratitude towards the Japanese Government and its people for the long-lasting support and contribution to the development of Bhutan.

The officials of the Embassy of Japan to the Kingdom of Bhutan, including myself, reaffirm our commitment to making every effort towards nurturing the Japan-Bhutan relations in a multi-faceted way. We hope that, in this endeavor, we can count upon your unstinted support to enable us to continue achieving tangible results and to further foster our bilateral friendship in the coming years.

Kenji Hiramatsu
Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Bhutan

Ambassador's Message   (06/2017)

Ambassador's Message   (02/2016)