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Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu greets guests at the Clock tower square
Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu greets guests at the Clock tower square

Japan week begins

To enhance cooperation in the fields of culture, sports, academia and people-to-people relation between Bhutan and Japan, the Japan week in Bhutan began yesterday. 

Series of activities including cultural activities, health check-up, experiencing of Japanese cuisine and screening of Japanese films, marked the opening day of the week-long celebration in Thimphu.  

Japan’s ambassador to Bhutan in New Delhi, India, Kenji Hiramatsu, said that he was happy to be a part of the occasion that would prove beneficial in presenting aspects of Japanese culture to Bhutanese. 

The Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Bhutan, Watanabe Kozo, said that given the long diplomatic relations between the two countries, many Bhutanese are well acquainted with the Japanese culture.   

“Although organised by Japanese agencies, many of the performers are Bhutanese and it was impressive to see them like the Japanese culture,” he said. 

The JICA Bhutan office  provided imoni (hotpot of taro), a Japanese soup prepared with  products from Integrated Horticultural Promotion Project (IHPP) in Bajo, WangduePhodrang and organic fruits to the audiences present at the clock tower in Thimphu.  

Some of the activities in the coming days include interactive sessions in schools and colleges, screening of Japanese animation programme on the Bhutan Broadcasting Service Television channel 2 and providing football classes to children from a professional Japanese soccer team, Omiya Ardija. 

As a part of the celebrations, a seminar on Japanese language proficiency test (JLPT) would also be held in the capital. The JLPT would be conducted in Bhutan for the first time later in December. 

Japan Week was formally launched on October 22, 2006 in Thimphu during the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Japan. 

The week-long event is organised by the Embassy of Japan, Japan Foundation in New Delhi and JICA Bhutan office. 

Chimi Dema 

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