YK Poudel 

Japan Week in Bhutan 2022 which began last week saw a series of events on Japanese culture and sports in Thimphu. Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji attended the inaugural ceremony on October 15.

The celebrations were hosted differently this year with most of the events held at various places based on invitations only as a part of the Japan-Bhutan exchange year.

Bhutan Karate Association and Bhutan Judo Association staged demonstrations at various locations.

Pelkhil School hosted a sports promotion event on October 17 at Pelkhil Judo Hall as a part of the celebration.

A team from the Japanese Embassy in India and members of Bhutan Judo Association demonstrated basic Judo techniques with some practical exercises for around 40 students from Chang Rigphel Lower Secondary School.

“It is my first time taking part in Japan week, and it is nice to see such a close relationship between the two countries,” said a 11 year old Benita Sharma.

“I learnt that Judo is a Japanese martial art that requires efficient use of energy and technique,” said one of the students, who witnessed Judo demonstration at Pelkhil School.

As part of the celebrations, the organisers screened two Japanese anime films each at Clock Tower Square and City Cinema Hall.

According to Yasuhiro Yonehara, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan, India, “Japan week in Bhutan is a week to mark the bonding between the two countries through such events.”

The last event of Japan week will be held on October 27 with Japan-Bhutan Food Exchange symposium at the CBS.

Japan Week was formally launched in 2006 in Thimphu during the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Japan.

It is an annual event organised in Bhutan by the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi along with the Japan Foundation and JICA in Thimphu.