Visit to Japan of H.R.H. Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev of the Kingdom of Nepal
(Outline and Results)
2 May 2001
(1) His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev of the Kingdom of Nepal visited Japan at the invitation of the Government of Japan from 25 April to 2 May. During his visit, Crown Prince Dipendra was invited to a court luncheon hosted by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan, as well as a tour of the Edo-Tokyo Museum and a dinner, both hosted by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan. He also had a friendly talk with Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino.
(2) After his arrival, Crown Prince Dipendra also held talks with Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Seishiro Eto. The Crown Prince then visited the Diet Building and held talks with Speaker of the House of Representatives Tamisuke Watanuki and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives Kozo Watanabe.
(3) Crown Prince Dipendra also visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Disaster Prevention Center, the Toshiba Science Institute, the Keio University Karate Club, Kyoto Imperial Palace and Sento Imperial Palace and the Hyogo Prefectural Disaster Management Center, and attended welcome dinner parties and receptions hosted by several goodwill organizations, such as the Japan-Nepal Parliamentarian Friendship Association, the Japan Nepal Society and the Japanese Alpine Club.
2. Main Results of the Visit
(1) The Imperial Family of Japan and the Royal Family of Nepal have traditionally had an intimate relationship. This visit was the third visit to Japan by Crown Prince Dipendra, while His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev came to Japan for study in 1967 when he was the Crown Prince. King Birendra visited Japan three times after that.
This visit by Crown Prince Dipendra reflected this intimacy between the Imperial and Royal Families. The court luncheon hosted by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, and the tour and dinner hosted by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince that lasted four hours were conducted in a homely atmosphere. The visit was meant to further develop the rapport between the Imperial and Royal Families, and served to further advance the friendly relationship between the two countries in general.
(2) Nepal, which has eight mountains over 8,000 meters high, is a favorite destination for Japanese mountain climbers. The Japanese Alpine Club wholeheartedly welcomed Crown Prince Dipendra by hosting two separate receptions during his stay in Japan, one in Tokyo and one in Kyoto. Crown Prince Dipendra practiced karate before, and accordingly also visited two karate organizations.
During the Prince's visit, additional efforts were made to further deepen friendship and goodwill at the national level, including the indication by the Nepalese side that a mating pair of rhinoceroses will be sent to Japan as a symbol of goodwill between the two countries.
(3) Nepal has been advancing democratization and a transition to a market economy since 1990 under its new Constitution. Japan is actively supporting these efforts. To respond to interest on the Nepalese side, Japan arranged talks with Speaker of the House of Representatives Watanuki and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives Watanabe, an explanation of Japan's parliamentary system and a tour of the Diet Building. Crown Prince Dipendra attended to these appointments with great interest.
Crown Prince Dipendra is also interested in the methods of disaster management and efforts in the information technology sector, and the inclusion of visits to related facilities during his stay was significant toward the strengthening of cooperative relationships in particular fields between Nepal and Japan. (Surendra Prasad Chaudhry, Minister for Science and Technology, His Majesty's Government of Nepal and Chief Attendant, stated upon his return to Nepal that his impression of the visit was more than expected, and that he would to report to Prime Minister of Nepal Girija Prasad Koirala regarding the need for further strengthening of the Japan-Nepal relationship by using the achievements of this visit.)
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