Bhutan–Japan relations

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Bhutan–Japan relations
Map indicating locations of Bhutan and Japan



The Bhutan–Japan relations refers to the diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Japan. Diplomatic relations were established on March 28, 1986.[1]

Diplomatic mission[edit]

Japan has a non-resident embassy to Bhutan in New Delhi, India. Japan is planning to open a resident embassy in Thimpu by April 2014. One of the factors for opening a resident embassy in Bhutan is to counter China's influence in the region; however, budgetary constraints may serve as an obstacle to the plan.[2][3] As of 2017, the ambassador to Bhutan is still resident at Embassy of Japan in India.[4]

State Visit[edit]

Bhutanese King (center), Queen (left) and Japanese Crown Prince at Tokyo Imperial Palace on November 16, 2011.

Bhutanese monarch, Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and his wife Queen Jetsun Pema made a state visit to Japan from November 15–20 in 2011.[5]

As for Japanese imperial family's visit to Bhutan, the first one was in March 1987 by Crown Prince Naruhito, the second one was in March 1997 by Prince and Princess Akishino, and the third one is in June 2017 by Princess Mako.[6][7]

Disaster relief[edit]

Bhutan received aid from Japan regarding its disaster relief against glacial lake outburst floods. Director of the Department of Hydro-Met Services in Bhutan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Karma Tsering, said that Bhutan is receiving assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency in developing a cheaper and more efficient early warning system to minimize losses and damages from sudden glacial lake outburst floods. The Japanese government is also coming up with a glacier lake inventory and has been conducting geological studies in the Himalayas. The Japanese agency plans to complete its project in Bhutan by 2016.[8]


Japan has a growing market for Bhutan's tourism. In early 2012, Phuntsho Gyeltshen, the officiating media focal person of the Tourism Council of Bhutan noted that the number of Japanese tourists who visited increased significantly and Japan is close to becoming the number one market of Bhutan's tourism. The official also noted that the drastic increase of Japanese tourists to Bhutan happened especially after the Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema made a visit to the country.[9][10] In 2011, 7,000 Japanese visited Bhutan. Japan was the second biggest market for Bhutan's tourism.[3]


  1. ^ "25th Anniversary of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and the Kingdom of Bhutan". MOFA. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  2. ^ "Japan eying for its embassy in Bhutan". Bhutan News Service. 2012-06-03. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  3. ^ a b "A fourth embassy in Thimphu". KuenselOnline. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  4. ^ "Embassy of Japan in Bhutan". Embassy of Japan in India. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  5. ^ "State Visit of their Majesties the King and Queen of Bhutan to Japan: Outline of Visit Programme and Appraisal". MOFA. 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  6. ^ Japan's Princess Mako to visit Bhutan, South Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times - May 10, 2017
  7. ^ Princess Mako begins a nine-day official visit to Bhutan | The Japan Times - May 31, 2017
  8. ^ "Bhutan official praises Japanese aid in handling glacial outburst floods". Japan Times. 2013-08-02. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  9. ^ "Bhutan royals' visit to Japan boosts interest in travel to their country " Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion". 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  10. ^ "'Bhutan Fever' in Japan | BBS". 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2013-11-11.