The Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley met with 82 Japanese monks, who arrived in the country on 21 August, to convey the appreciation of the Japanese people to the people of Bhutan for the good wishes and compassion towards the people of Japan when multiple disasters hit their country in the Spring of 2011.
The delegation of Japanese monks called on Lyonchhen at the Convention Centre today. Led by the President of the famed Soto-shu (one of the two main schools of zen in Japan) venerable Yoshioka Munenori, the group is on a five-day visit to Bhutan.
Lyonchhen conveyed heartiest welcome to the group on behalf of the royal government and the people of Bhutan. He said that the combination of the earthquake, tsunami and the destruction from the nuclear plant was a sad event that struck people of Japan but the whole world saw and appreciated how the Japanese people maintained a sense of discipline, and the Japanese culture, spirit and compassion to help each other rise again. Lyonchhen also said that the people of Bhutan have great admiration for the people of Japan and over the years, Bhutanese people have developed tremendous love and affection for the Japanese people. Lyonchhen also said that he believes that the visit of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen to Japan last year was able to bring closer the hearts of the people of the two countries and thanked the people of Japan for the way in which they were received.
President Yoshioka Munenori, on behalf of the group, informed lyonchhen that the delegation comprised of buddhist monks from across Japan. He said that in Japan today, most TV programmes, newspaper and magazine reports urge the Japanese people to learn from Bhutan. He said that although there is economic and material prosperity in Japan, there is a vacuum in spiritual aspects which can only be developed with Bhutan as example. He said that the Japanese people are very much touched by His Majesty’s visit to the affected areas and that they have mainly come to Bhutan to express their appreciation on behalf of the people of Japan. President Yoshioka Munenori said that they will take back whatever they learn from Bhutan and thanked the royal government for receiving them with warmth and good wishes.
An appreciation letter from the Governor of Fukushima prefecture was also read out to the Prime Minister by one of the senior monks.
The delegation will meet with the Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs and visit the various religious and historical sites in the country. The group will leave on August 25.