Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, Kikuta Yutaka made a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sher Bhadur Deuba at the latter's official residence in Baluwatar today. Ambassador Kikuta congratulated PM Deuba in person for his appointment and the successful vote of confidence at the Parliament. The ambassador handed the congratulatory letter from Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, to PM Deuba.

Prime Minister Deuba expressed gratitude to his Japanese counterpart Suga for his congratulations. According to a press release issued by the Embassy of Japan, Ambassador Kikuta and PM Deuba shared views on bilateral relations between the two countries, as the year 2022 commemorates the 120th anniversary of student-exchanges, as well as the post-COVID social and economic development of Nepal.

Ambassador Kikuta mentioned that Japan had been working with Nepal as a friendly development partner to improve the daily lives of Nepali people, which will also be beneficial for the public health of the country in this COVID-19 situation.

The recent donation of about 1.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Nepal by the COVAX facility is a reflection of the long-time friendship of Nepal towards Japan, followed by the medical equipment assistance for Nepali hospitals to fight against the pandemic together.

PM Deuba expressed appreciation for Japan's cooperation, including the vaccine donation, said the embassy.

Ambassador Kikuta highlighted the special intimacy between Japan and Nepal based on long-term relationship and hoped to continue the great partnership in the years to come by resuming the people-to-people exchange between the two countries once the COV- ID-19 situation eased.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 23 2021, of The Himalayan Times.