Catch Exciting Film Screenings, Cultural And Sports Events At ‘Japan Week 2018’ In Bhutan
The ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu is hopeful that ‘Japan Week’ will prove beneficial in promoting people to people relations between Bhutan and Japan.
By Phurpa Lhamo | Kuensel
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV)’s work in Bhutan, ‘Japan Week’ opened on 2 December in Thimphu.
This year the event was launched at the Clock Tower Square with demonstrations of Judo, Karate, Kendo and Tsugaru Shamisen by Hayate.
The government of Japan will provide funds for the Bhutan Judo Association (BJA) to construct a Judo training hall in Thimphu. The contract was signed between the ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu and the President of the BJA, Karma L Dorji.
The ambassador said that he is hopeful that ‘Japan Week’ will prove beneficial in promoting people to people relations between Bhutan and Japan. It will also showcase and enhance deeper understanding of the various aspects of Japanese culture and tradition.
Japan’s contributions to Bhutan and the close ties between the two countries
In 2016, Bhutan and Japan celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relationship with a series of events in both countries. In June 2017, HRH Princess Mako of Akishino visited Bhutan and was welcomed warmly by Their Majesties The King and Queen and the people of Bhutan.
One key area of Japan’s contribution to Bhutan is infrastructure development. The ambassador, Kenji Hiramatsu inaugurated a bridge at Chuzomsa, Wangdue on his previous trip. It was the 22nd bridge to be constructed in Bhutan. The Japanese are also constructing another four bridges along the national highway that will be completed by 2020.
The ambassador also mentioned that x-ray equipment and CT scan were provided to JDWNRH, Mongar and Gelephu Regional Hospitals. He was pleased that these machines have been well- used.
On the social front, the Japanese have given some assistance to vocational centres and enhanced women empowerment. As for the agriculture sector, Japan has already provided more than 3,600 power tillers for Bhutan.
Even though Bhutan is slated to graduate from the least developed countries category, the ambassador emphasised that Japan still stands ready to support Bhutan in the future.
“We are looking forward to working closely with the new government. I believe ‘Japan Week’ will be instrumental in strengthening the partnership between Japan and Bhutan in the years to come.”
Activities lined up for ‘Japan Week’
The celebration will be marked with a series of activities including sports exchange, cultural activities and screenings of Japanese films in the country. Other activities include a Health and Sports Education (HPE) symposium, book launch, seminars and workshops.
Foreign minister, Dr Tandi Dorji also thanked the government of Japan for its assistance in the socio-economic development of Bhutan.
“Besides interacting and enhancing people to people relationship, I think this type of occasion is very important to further build close bonds of friendship between our two people.”
‘Japan Week’ will be celebrated until 19 December this year.
This article first appeared in kuensel and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.