It is my great pleasure to welcome you to celebrate the ascension of the new Emperor of Japan. Since his ascension in May this year, a new era, “Reiwa”, commenced in Japan. Reiwa means beautiful harmony, with the hope that culture will flourish through the hearts and minds of people coming together in a beautiful manner. As Prime Minister Abe mentioned, “Reiwa” is taken from the Manyoshu, the oldest poetry anthology of Japan compiled more than 1,200 years ago.
As we leave the “Heisei” era of Japan behind, we can recall that sometimes there were difficulties such a natural disasters and slow economic progress, however, with the respectable, their majesties the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita, the Heisei era lasted for more than 30 years.
We are grateful to learn that their Majesties, the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita, and His Majesty the Emperor have bonds with Nepal. His Majesty the Emperor visited Nepal in 1987. There are some photographs at the embassy, which we share with you for this special occasion today. I learn that His Majesty visited Nepal when he was Crown Prince, and he spent time here visiting city areas as well as mountains.
It is said that His Majesty developed further thoughts about the water problems of the world through this visit. He mentioned his experience later at lecturers. Particularly, he saw women and children fetching water when he visited Pokhara, and though about their difficulties, such as that it might take a long time for them to carry water back to their homes.
His Majesty studied the history of water transportation bout in Japan and in the UK and his interest has been broadened in relation to water in society and people’s lives. His interest ranges from water supplies, and protection from floods, to relations with the environment, public Health and even education.
In 2003, His Majesty delivered a key note speech at the third World Water Forum in Kyoto. Since then he continues to talk on various themes related to water in society. For example, as Honorary President, he has made contributions to the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation from 2007, delivering thoughtful keynote speeches about global water problems with historical perspective.
Today, the bilateral relations between Japan and Nepal continue be strengthened as both of our Foreign Ministers visited each other’s country recently. These visits were followed by Memorandum of Cooperation regarding “Specified Skilled Worker,” which was signed in the March. Japan would like to keep supporting the vision of Nepal- “Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali” through various field such as economic and technical cooperation, promoting investment, and preservation of cultural heritage. As a true good friend of Nepal, we will continue to deepening and widening our bilateral relationship further in comprehensive and dynamic manner.
Japan hosts the Rugby World Cup 2019 from this September to November. Just a week ago there was the Kathmandu Rugby Festival, in which two Japanese professional players Kikutani and Ms Inui, kindly joined. As I am a keen rugby fan, and played it when I was young, I hope this sport becomes more familiar among the younger generations of the country. The Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan will be followed by the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics Games in 2020. We welcome many Nepalis who love sports to both occasions!
Excerpts of the statement delivered on 28 May.