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The recent visit by Bhutan’s king and queen helped raise the country’s profile in Japan and even spurred interest in travel to the country, but few Japanese seem to be aware that Bhutan, often portrayed as an idyllic Himalayan getaway, has forced more than 70,000 Nepalese to leave the country as refugees, many of them stripped of their citizenship.

The Nov. 15-20 visit by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema — which included meetings with the Imperial family, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and schoolchildren in disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture — received widespread media coverage, and their faces regularly appeared on television and in newspapers.

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