Japan-Bhutan Relations

January 30, 2020

Basic Data

Diplomatic Relations:

  • Established on March 28, 1986 by exchanging letters regarding establishment of diplomatic relations

Number of Residents:

  • Number of Japanese nationals residing in Bhutan: 130 (2019)
  • Number of Bhutanese nationals residing in Japan: 836 (2018)

Trade with Japan (2018):

  • Export: 74 million yen (vegetables, textile)
  • Import: 682 million yen (small excavators, automobile, products related to automobile)

Japan's Economic Cooperation:

  • List of Exchange of Notes
  • Loans: 5.763 billion yen (Total)
  • Grants: 39.099 billion yen (thru FY 2017 E/N basis)
  • Technical cooperation: 21.115 billion yen (thru FY 2017 JICA basis)

VIP Visits

From Japan to Bhutan (since 1987)
Year Month Name
1987 Mar. H.I.H. Prince Naruhito
1992 Aug. Delegation of Socialist Party (headed by Makoto Taneda)
1993 Dec. President of JICA Kensuke Yanagiya
1994 Sep. Japan-Bhutan Parliamentary Friendship League (headed by Former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mutsuki Kato)
1997 Mar. T.I.H. Prince and Princess Akishino
1997 Oct. Ambassador Nobuo Matsunaga,the Envoy of the Japanese Government
1998 Apr. Former Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu
2001 Jan. President of JICA Kimio Fujita
2005 Jun. Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Katsuyuki Kawai
2006 Aug. Vice-Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Kiyoshi Nakano
2006 Oct. Japan-Bhutan Friendship Parliamentarians League (headed by Former Minister for Foreign Affairs and chairman of the League, Nobutaka Machimura, 20th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations)
2010 Apr. Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Chinami Nishimura
2011 May Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Kikuta
2013 Aug. Special Advisor to Prime Minister Taro Kimura
2013 Aug. Sanding Committee on Foreign Affairs of House of Representatives (headed by Katsuyuki Kawai)
2013 Sep. Special Committee on Official Development Assistance of House of Councilors (headed by Eriko Yamatani)
2016 Sep. Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Katsuyuki Kawai
2017 Jun. H.I.H. Princess Mako
2017 Sep. Special Advisor to the President of LDP for Foreign Affairs
2018 Jun. Foreign Minister Taro Kono
2019 Aug. T.I.H. Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino and Prince Hisahito
Special Committee on Foreign Affairs of House of Representatives (headed by Hiroshi Moriyama)
2020 Jan. Special Committee on Official Development Assistance of House of Councilors (headed by Haruko Arimura)
From Bhutan to Japan (since 1986)
Year Month Name
1986 Mar. Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Dawa Tsering (Establishment of Diplomatic Relations)
1987 Apr. Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Dawa Tsering
1988 May Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Dawa Tsering
1989 Feb. H.M. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck (Imperial Funeral of Emperor Showa)
1990 May Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Dawa Tsering (International Garden and Greenery Exposition, Osaka, Japan, 1990)
1990 Nov. H.M. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck (Enthronement Ceremony)
1991 Apr. Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Dawa Tsering
1993 Aug. Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Dawa Tsering
1993 Oct. Planning Minister Lyonpo C. Dorji
1994 Jul. Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Dawa Tsering
1996 Oct. Minister of Foreign Affairs Lyonpo Dawa Tsering
1997 Sep. H.M. Queen Mother Ashi Kesang Chodron
1999 Jun. Chairman of Council of Ministers, Head of Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley
2000 Aug. Minister of Agriculture Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji
2001 Dec. Health and Education Minister Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup
2004 Jun. Finance Minister Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba
2004 Oct. H.M. Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck
2005 Jun. Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Affiars Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley (2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan)
2006 Jan. Finance Minister Lyonpo Wangi Norbu
2006 Apr. Speaker of National Assembly Dasho Ugten Dorji
2006 Oct. Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley
2007 Mar. Chief Justice of Bhutan Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye
2007 Mar. Attorney General of Bhutan Dasho Damcho Dorji
2007 Apr. Minister for Agriculture Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup
2007 Dec. Prime Minister Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji
2008 Aug. Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi
2009 Jun. Additional Chief of Royal Bhutan Police Lt. Col. Tshewang Dendup
2009 Aug. Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley
2010 Apr. Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley
2010 Nov. Minister of Agriculture and Forests Lyonpo Dr. Pema Gyamtsho
2011 Feb. H.R.H. Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck
2011 Jul. H.R.H. Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck
2011 Sep. Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley
2011 Sep. Parliamentary delegation led by Chairperson of National Council, Lyonpo Namgye Penjore (Invitation of the President of the House of Councillors)
2011 Nov. T.M. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck (State Guests)
2012 May. H.R.H. Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck
2014 Feb. Parliamentary delegation led by Chairperson of National Council, Dr. Sonam Kinga (Invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
2014 Mar. H.M. the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck
Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs Lyonpo Damcho Dorji
2014 Jun. Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay (Working visit at the Invitation of Government of Japan)
2015 Mar. Minister for Economic Affairs Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk (Invitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
2015 Mar. Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs Lyonpo Damcho Dorji (Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction)
2016 Jan. Minister for Economic Affairs Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk
2016 May. H.R.H. Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck
2016 May. H.M. the Queen Monther Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck accompanied by H.R.H. Dechen Yangzom Wangchuck
2016 Jun. H.M. the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuk accompanied by H.R.H. Euphelma Choden Wangchuck
2016 Dec. Minister for Works and Human Settlement Dorji Choden,
2017 Jan. Secretary for Economic Affairs Yeshi Wangdi
2017 Apr. H.R.H. Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck
2017 Oct. H.R.H. Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck
2018 Apr. Prime Minister, Dasho Tshering Tobgay
2018 Nov. H.R.H. Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wnagchuck
2019 Mar. Minister for Works and Human Settlement Dorji Tshering,
2019 Apr. Minister for Labour and Human Resources Ugyen Dorji
2019 Oct. T.M. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck

Cultural Grant (cumulative total fiscal 1975-2010)

220.0 million yen (Cultural Grant Aid)

Cultural Relations

Japan-Bhutan Friendship Association established in 1981 and Kobe Bhutan Friendship Association established in 1981 are promoting cultural exchanges and friendly relations.

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