Namaste, it is my pleasure to introduce myself to you. I am KIKUTA Yutaka, the new Ambassador of Japan to Nepal. I just arrived here on March 7, 2021, as successor to Ambassador Saigo Masamichi.
Although I am a new ambassador to Nepal, I already have some personal history with this beautiful country. I still remember my visit here as Director of the Southwest Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, at that time there were beautiful flowers on the jacaranda trees in full bloom within the Valley. In 2005, I welcomed the then Crown Prince Paras and Crown Princess Himani to EXPO 2005 AICHI JAPAN. While I was serving as Deputy Chief of Mission of Japanese Embassy in India, I felt at my residence in New Delhi the tremor of the Nepal earthquake in 2015.
There is a long and deep history between Japan and Nepal, namely through people’s friendship and various exchanges, all started with the visit of a Japanese monk, KAWAGUCHI Ekai to Kathmandu in 1899. Japan and Nepal established official diplomatic relations in 1956, and we have been strengthening our relationship as true friends since then. I am aware that high-level exchanges between the two countries have been quite active; that the Rt. Hon. President Mrs. Bhandari visited Japan and the Foreign Ministers from both countries travelled to see each other recently. Moreover, it is also memorable to mention that next year, 2022, is the 120th anniversary since the first eight Nepali students were dispatched to Japan for their studies.
Regarding economic issues, we welcome Nepal to participate in EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN. I look forward to this very much, knowing that Nepal will show its prosperity and happiness to the world on this special occasion. In order to support Nepal’s economic development, the Government of Japan has been extending various assistance for a long time, including projects for the recovery from the earthquake. Personally speaking, I am originally from Fukushima Prefecture, in which we had the Great East Japan Earthquake ten years ago, and which was again hit by a severe earthquake last month. From such experience of my own, I think I understand better than any others how Nepali people have been trying hard to restore their lives to normal, overcoming difficulties caused by the earthquake in 2015.
Above all, I feel very honored and fortunate to be posted to this country, with people who love Japan and where Sagarmatha lies, along with various other attractions and charms of the nation. It is my duty to work humbly and sincerely to succeed my predecessors’ efforts. Last year, many of us faced unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak all over the world. Nepal was not the exception. I believe, however, good people of Nepal will never give up and will overcome challenges whatever they are. I am looking forward to working with the Nepal Government and friends, and to brightening our great friendship for future generations to come.
March 8, 2021
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan