It is indeed my great pleasure to congratulate all the members of JICA Alumni Association of Nepal (JAAN) on the occasion of the Association’s 42nd Anniversary and the publication of annual issue of Milan magazine. I am delighted to know that the members of JAAN have been endeavoring to promote friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and Nepal since JAAN’s inception in Nepal forty-two years ago.
2015 was a very turbulent and memorial year for Nepal. Nepal faced an earthquake while killed more than 9000 people, injured thousands and destroyed more than 500 thousand houses. Representing the Government of Japan and the people of Japan, I would like express my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the earthquake and express heartfelt sympathy for those who were suffered.
The Japan Government and JICA immediately provided emergency supports by dispatching three rescue and, medical teams. Japan also provided tents, blankets, etc., along with 14 millions US dollars of immediate assistance, channeled through the United Nations. On 25th June, 2015 the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction 2015 (ICNR) was held in Kathmandu and during the conference, the visiting State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan pledged 260 million US dollars in loans and great assistance for rehabilitation and recovery.
On 20th September, 2015 Nepal promulgated the New Constitution – a result of eight years of the people’s great efforts. The Japan Government welcomed the New Constitution as it paves the way to Nepal’s democracy and socio-economic development.
Unfortunately, some political parties do not accept the New Constitution and are agitating in the Terai. Shortage of Petroleum products and other essential materials is impacting on the daily lives of people and international organizations and NGOs are facing problem in carrying out humanitarian assistance activities. I hope the issues will soon be solved peacefully and in a way to foster mutual trust among all parties concerned.
I expect that the present hurdles will be solved soon and, under the New Constitution, Nepal will move towards economical development and recover from the earthquake.
I also expect to see the members of JAAN, by utilizing the knowledge and skills they have acquired in Japan, play an even greater role than in the past in nation building. As in previous years, I believe all JAAN members will also help to promote and strengthen the close relationship between the two nations, and thus, this glorious, historical, and cordial relationship between the people of Japan and Nepal can be strengthened ever more.
I sincerely wish the JICA Alumni Association of Nepal all success and prosperity.
Ambassador of Japan
January 18, 2016