Japan-Bhutan Summit Meeting (Overview)

September 26, 2011


On Monday, September 26, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting with His Excellency Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, and His Excellency Lyonpo Namgye Penjor, Chairperson of the National Council of the Kingdom of Bhutan, who are currently on a visit to Japan, for about 30 minutes from 5:30 p.m. The following is an overview of the meeting (The meeting was attended by five members of the National Council including Chairperson Penjor on the Bhutan side, and Mr. Tsuyoshi Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Hiroyuki Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Joe Nakano, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs on the Japanese side).

  1. In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Noda expressed his sympathy for the damage that Bhutan suffered from the recent earthquake and reiterated Japan's gratitude for the sympathy and support from Bhutan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
    Prime Minister Thinley responded that the damage that Bhutan suffered from the earthquake was fortunately limited, and stated that one of the objectives of the visit was to express the solidarity of Bhutan to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Japanese people. He noted that people worldwide, including the Bhutanese people, were impressed by Japanese people, who have been united with aplomb to deal with the multiple calamities.
  2. Prime Minister Noda offered his congratulations on the upcoming wedding of His Majesty the King of Bhutan, which is due to take place next month, and stated that the Government of Japan looked forward to inviting His Majesty the King and the future Her Majesty the Queen as State Guests in November. Prime Minister Thinley expressed his gratitude and noted that the fact that the visit to Japan would be His Majesty's first overseas visit after the wedding symbolizes the special amicable relation between the two countries.
  3. Prime Minister Noda stated that Japan would continue to support the consolidation of democracy in Bhutan as well as its economic and social development. In response, Prime Minister Thinley stated that the development of Bhutan owed greatly to the support from Japan and that Bhutan has learned much from Japan, and reiterated his gratitude.
  4. Prime Minister Noda stated, with regard to "Gross National Happiness (GNH)", the core concept of national development for Bhutan, Japan has also placed an emphasis on "happiness" in its "New Growth Strategy", adopted last year by cabinet decision. Prime Minister Thinley expressed his hope that GNH would serve as a new paradigm.
  5. Prime Minister Thinley stated that Bhutan would continue to support Japan's permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.

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