To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) in Bhutan, Japan weeks in Bhutan began yesterday with a grant contract signing for the project to construct Judojo, a Judo training hall.

The government of Japan will grant fund to the Bhutan Judo Association (BJA) for the construction of a Judo training hall in Thimphu.

The contract was signed between the ambassador of Japan to Bhutan Kenji Hiramatsu and the president of BJA Karma L Dorji.

Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu said he was hopeful that the weeks would prove beneficial in promoting people to people relation between Bhutan and Japan.

He said that the visit of Princess Mako, Japan’s foreign minister to Bhutan and the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Japan in 2016 were signs that the friendship was deepening. “We are looking forward to working closely with the new government. I believe the Japan weeks will be instrumental in promoting people to people exchanges and strengthen the partnership between Japan and Bhutan in the years to come.”

The celebration will be marked with a series of activities including sports exchange, cultural activities, and screening of Japanese films in the country. Other activities include Health and Sports Education (HPE) symposium, book launch, seminars, and workshops.

Foreign minister, Dr Tandi Dorji thanked the government of Japan for its assistance in the socio-economic development of the country.  “Besides interacting and enhancing people to people relationship, I think this type of occasion is very important to further build close bonds of friendship between our two people.”

The Japan weeks will be celebrated until December 19 this year.

Phurpa Lhamo