President of Japan-Nepal Society Ambassador Mitsuaki Kojima,
Office-bearers of Japan-Nepal Society,
Esteemed Friends from Nepal and Japan,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Namaskar, Konnichiwa and Good Afternoon,
I am very happy to once again be in this beautiful country, Japan after many years. For me and my wife, Japan is almost a second home as the two countries share so many commonalities and enjoy close and intimate ties of friendship and co-operation for so long.
I thank you Ambassador Kojima for your important role in further enhancing bilateral relations both as Ambassador to Nepal during the crucial period of our recent history when Nepal was passing through turbulence in political terms and as head of Japan-Nepal Society. I am pleased to note that during its fifty years of existence, the Society has served as a catalyst in promoting Nepal-Japan relations.
Japan is one of our most important development partners extending generous assistance to us in three core areas of infrastructure development, poverty alleviation and establishment of good governance and democracy in Nepal. It is gratifying that our close relations also cover mutual co-operation in multilateral areas.
Nepal wishes Japan to play its due role in international affairs and we have, therefore, supported Japan`s inclusion as the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council. We support proactive diplomacy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that includes increased assistance to developing countries like Nepal. Japan has been a direct participant in our peace process and supported us in conducting second elections to the Constituent Assembly in November 2013. So many Japanese have served in Nepal as volunteers to help us in rural development and build up our institutional and managerial capacity.
As I come from Nepal, you may be interested to know the latest political situation in my country specially pertaining to the promulgation of the new constitution. I can assure that political parties represented in the Constituent Assembly are committed to promulgate the new constitution.
The promulgation of the new constitution will not only institutionalise landmark political gains made by the people of Nepal since 2006, it will also conclude the peace process. While it has taken some time to enact a new constitution, there is no doubt that Nepal is a full-fledged pluralist democracy with an independent judiciary, human rights, full freedom of expression and liberal economic system.
It is in this spirit that I call upon Japanese business community to invest in Nepal for mutual benefit taking into account great potentials that Nepal has in various sectors including water resources, agriculture and industry. I am sure institutions like Japan-Nepal Society have a greater role to play in facilitating Japanese private sector to turn towards Nepal when the business community here is searching for alternative destinations for investments.
Finally, I am aware of the existence of a vibrant Nepalese community in Japan that has now become the largest population from South Asia. They are now increasingly taking up entrepreneurial activities in Japan contributing to both local economy and promotion of Nepal-Japan economic interactions.
With these words, may I once again thank you for hosting this delightful luncheon this afternoon and wish your Society all success in your mission.
Thank you all