Courtesy Call by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Mrs. Noda to Their Majesties the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Bhutan (Summary)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
On Tuesday, November 15, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his wife paid a courtesy call for about 20 minutes from 6:40 p.m. to His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Her Majesty Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck of the Kingdom of Bhutan, who were visiting Japan as state guests. A summary of the meeting is as follows.
- Prime Minister Noda congratulated Their Majesties the King and Queen on their wedding and extended a warm welcome to Their Majesties as state guests. He stated that he would like to further strengthen the relationship between Japan and Bhutan, as this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Prime Minister Noda also reiterated his sympathy regarding the earthquake in September which caused damages in Bhutan, as well as his appreciation for the sympathy and support received from Bhutan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
- His Majesty King Jigme Khesar appreciated the invitation to Japan as state guests, and expressed his respect to Japan on behalf of His Majesty the Fourth King, the government and people of Bhutan. His Majesty reiterated his condolences and solidarity for those who suffered from the Great East Japan Earthquake. His Majesty further expressed his gratitude for Japan's economic cooperation.
- Prime Minister Noda and His Majesty King Jigme Khesar exchanged views regarding the cordial relationship between Japan and Bhutan including through such high-level visits as those of members of the Japanese Imperial Family and the Bhutanese Royal family as well as through economic cooperation, including technical cooperation for agricultural development led by the late Keiji Nishioka. They also exchanged views on the concept of "Gross National Happiness" (GNH), which serves as a vision of Bhutan's development.
Keiji Nishioka was an agricultural expert who had been dispatched to Bhutan in 1964. He introduced new farming techniques to Bhutan and worked for the development of agriculture for 28 years until he passed away in 1992. In 1980, he became the first and only foreigner to be conferred the title of "Dasho" (an honorary title given to high-level government officials) in recognition of his outstanding contribution.
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