Embassy of Japan in Nepal

People's Exchanges

The 100th Anniversary of Nepali Students in Japan

October 1, 2002

Speech by Rt. Hon. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister on the Occasion of the Commemorative Ceremony of the 100th Anniversary of First Nepali Students in Japan and Demonstration of Tea Ceremony September 27, 2002

Distinguished friends,

I feel very happy to be amongst you this evening which has two events: Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Nepalese Students in Japan and Demonstration of Tea Ceremony. I would like to express my sincere thanks to H.E. the Ambassador of Japan for organizing this event and the kind words extended to me as well as to His Majesty's Government of Nepal.

We all know that Nepal and Japan enjoy very good relations at government as well as peoples' levels. Our relations are marked by the warmth of friendship, cordiality, understanding and cooperation. Japanese cooperation has played very important role in the socio-economic development of our country. And, exchanges at official as well as the peoples' levels have contributed to the promotion and consolidation of our relations.

At this juncture, the contribution of the eight Nepalese students who went to Japan in 1902 and also happened to be the first Nepalese nationals to go abroad for education deserves special mention. The students, after coming back from Japan, not only made contributions in different sectors of the Nepalese economy but also harbingered the process of learning by Nepalese people in Japan. The importance of technical know-how is no less today than in 1902 though its nature might have been slightly changed. But, the objective, even today, remains the same: developing technical know-how, which could help in the country's modernization. We in Nepal find ourselves still very closer to what the Rev. Ekai Kawaguchi said about a century ago that education and patriotism are essential to transform a country. Since then, many Nepalese citizens have studied in Japan, acquired knowledge and tried to apply the knowledge in Nepal. Human resource development is one of the most important aspects of Japanese cooperation in Nepal. We are grateful to the Government of Japan for their understanding and cooperation.

In the last 100 years, the world has undergone sea change. Unimaginable progress has been made in various fields including communications, science and technology. The first Nepalese students had to sail for forty-six days to reach Yokohama from Bombay; now the journey takes a few hours. We have also seen dramatic social transformation. The majority of the world population has transcended the psychological barriers of castes and creeds, and race and religion; and the world is gradually moving towards the global village not only in economic but also in social sense. The key to such transformations lies in education, modern thinking and technical know-how. Here lies the true contribution of Japan in Nepal's strive for improvement in the life of its people and its modernization. I am also confident that the multi-faceted cooperation from Japan would continue in the years ahead.

A few minutes later, we will have the opportunity to witness the demonstration of Tea Ceremony which will give us the opportunity to experience the rich Japanese culture. I hope we all will enjoy the demonstration.

I, once again, thank you, Your Excellencies and distinguished friends, and wish you an enjoyable evening.
Thank you.

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