In the history of any two countries, incidents such as these are rare to see when two individuals from the same family have immensely contributed to fostering the relations of two countries.
Great Grandfather of Himalaya Sumsher Rana, prime minister Deb Sumsher Rana sent the first batch of Nepalese students to Japan to learn technical education 120 years ago, opening doors to Japan.
In a similar way, Himalaya Sumsher Rana, as a first governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, took a decision to open the Nepal’s foreign currency account in Bank of Japan in 1960. With over hundreds of Japanese trained Nepalese been contributing to various sectors of Nepal now, what prime minister Deb Sumsher Rana visualized was that Japanese technical education would help Nepal industrialize and modernize.
Similarly, the vision of Himalaya Sumsher Rana to diversify Nepal’s foreign currency reserve, opening a bank account in Japanese currency in bank of Japan, proved wise to enhance Nepal’s foreign trade. As Japan is a major development partner of Nepal, supporting Nepal’s overall development and providing the financial and technical support, Himalaya Sumsher Rana will always be remembered as his great grandfather prime minister Deb Sumsher.
The Embassy of Japan in Nepal held an official commemorative event celebrating the 2021 Autumn Conferment honoring Himalaya Rana, the 120th Anniversary of International Student Exchanges, and the achievement of Ms. TABEI Junko, the first female mountaineer to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Ambassador KIKUTA conveyed the decoration of the Order of Japan (The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star) to Rana, the founding governor of the Nepal Rastra Bank and former Finance Secretary, who opened the first foreign central bank account in the Bank of Japan in the 1960s.
The Ambassador of Japan to Nepal Yutaka Kikuta handed over Order of Japan (The Order of The Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star) to former governor and secretary Himalaya Sumsher Rana amid a function at ambassador’s residence.
Following Rana’s speech, Dr. Prabin Shrestha, the president of JUAAN (Japanese Universities Alumni Association in Nepal) and SAKAMOTO Hiroyuki, the Mayor of Miharu-town, Fukushima Prefecture, which is the hometown of Tabei, delivered speeches.
In this special year, 2022, with the 120th anniversary of International Student Exchanges between Japan and Nepal, Ambassador Kikuta celebrated the long history of people-to-people exchange between Japan and Nepal. He referred to the achievement of Rana's great-grandfather, Dev Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, the Prime Minister of Nepal who decided the dispatch of the first eight Nepali students to Japan, implemented in 1902. He shared the fact that the students brought back the knowledge they gained in Japan and contributed to the development of Nepal.
In his speech, Ambassador Kikuta also cited the accomplishment of Tabei and her honorable acceptance of the Gurkha Dakshina Bahu Award from the Kingdom of Nepal in 1975, and the Tenzing Hillary Award from Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal in 2010.
Participants enjoyed, among others, Japanese food and sake from Fukushima Prefecture.
Rana, who is now 93 years old, and served as former secretary and former governor of Nepal Ratra Bank, contributed to the promotion of friendly relations between Japan and Nepal by strengthening economic cooperation.
Japanese Decorations are conferred upon foreigners twice a year, on 29th April and 3rd November concurrently with the conferment of decorations and medals to Japanese nationals. The Order of the Rising Sun are bestowed upon individuals of merit, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the nation or public, they are also conferred upon foreign nationals who have made notable contributions to promotion of relations between Japan and other countries in such areas as politics and diplomacy, research and education, medicine and social welfare, economy and industry, and culture and sports.
“I offer my sincerest thanks to you ambassador Yutaka Kikuta for ceremonially conferring upon me The Order of Japan (The Order of The Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star) in recognition of my contribution to strengthening the economic relations between Japan and Nepal. I accept it as a great honor,” said Rana.