It is my great pleasure and honour to serve as the Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Bhutan, the country which is famous for her striking natural beauty, which cherishes her rich traditional culture, and above all, renders a deep bond of friendship to Japan. I officially started my duties on February 3rd, upon presenting my credentials to His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan.
During my first visit to Bhutan from 2 to 6 February 2016, I was received in audience by His Majesty the King of Bhutan and His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King. I also made courtesy calls on senior government leaders including His Excellency Mr. Tobgye, the Prime Minister. Moreover, what made my visit even more wonderful than anything else was the fortuitous opportunity to witness and share the happiness of the Bhutanese people on the birth of His Royal Highness.
Looking back on our relations, we have a long-standing history of friendship represented by cooperation in the agricultural sector through Dasho Nishioka (Mr. Keiji Nishioka) even before the establishment of our diplomatic relationship in 1986. Japan has been extending Official Development Assistance (ODA) in those sectors which are necessary for daily life, such as telecommunications, roads and bridges. Our friendship extends to people-to-people exchanges at various levels including political and cultural sectors. Our cooperation is along with the philosophy of Gross National Happiness, the principle of socio-economic development in Bhutan.
There has also been a history of exchanges between the Imperial Family of Japan and the Royal Family of Bhutan. His Imperial Highness Prince Naruhito (His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince at present) visited Bhutan in 1987, and Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino visited in 1997 on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Their Majesties the King and Queen of Bhutan visited Japan as the first State Guests after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. During their visit, His Majesty the King made a speech in the National Diet and Their Majesties visited Fukushima Prefecture to pray for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. It is still fresh in the memory of the Japanese that, Their Majesties’ visit brought courage to the Japanese people toward reconstruction.
This year commemorates the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bhutan, and there are many commemorative events planned to be held during the year. As the Ambassador of Japan, I am determined to further enhance our bilateral relationship as well as deepen our friendship through these events.
I eagerly look forward to coming to Bhutan as often as possible, visiting many places and meeting many people across the country during my tenure.
Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Bhutan