In the press conference on August 20, the four-member delegation announced, among others, Japan’s intent to establish an embassy in Thimphu after the end of their fiscal year in March.
“The lower house fully supports the notion of a Japanese embassy in Bhutan,” said Mr Katsuyuki Kawai, “And we shall take appropriate measures to facilitate it.” Mr Kawai is the chairman of the standing committee on foreign relations and member of the House of Representatives.
The embassy will be the fourth in Bhutan, after India, Bangladesh, and Kuwait.
The coming of the embassy, a step forward in Bhutan’s foreign relations, could be a boost to trade between the two countries, encouraging Japanese business ventures in Bhutan, besides appealing to more tourists. Last year, 7,000 Japanese tourists visited the country, the second highest number recorded in the year.
Besides improvement in trade, the delegation said that Japan was eager to spread GNH in the world with Bhutan.
Mr Kawai said that the swift development in Bhutan reminded him of Japan’s own post World War II progress. Already a steady aid provider to Bhutan, he pledged Japan’s continued support in the ongoing 11th Five-Year Plan.
The delegation also bore a letter of gratitude from the Mayor of Fukushima to His Majesty, acknowledging Bhutan’s support in the Fukushima disaster.
“It is important to strengthen this bilateral relationship because it will serve for the peace, security, and prosperity of not only Japan and Bhutan, but the whole of the South Asian region,” said Mr Kawai.
Chencho Dema/ Thimphu