National / Politics

Japan agrees to train Bhutan's civil servants, seeks support on abductions and sanctions

Kyodo

Japan will help young civil servants from Bhutan receive higher education at Japanese universities as the two countries aim to promote personnel exchanges, Foreign Ministry officials said Saturday.

Under a human resource development plan agreed to by both countries, Japan will provide ¥183 million ($1.6 million) in grant aid to cover tuition and other expenses needed for 10 administrative officers to earn master’s degrees or doctorates in Japan.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono, the first Cabinet minister to visit Bhutan, told his counterpart Damcho Dorji that Japan will support Bhutan’s economic and social development and deepen trade and investment ties, the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministers also confirmed that Japan will accept two sports trainers for Paralympians in July and discussed promoting deeper cultural understanding amid a growing interest in Japanese language studies.

Japan has developed amicable relations with Bhutan, which is placing priority on human resources development.

At the meeting, Kono sought Bhutan’s support in resolving the long-standing abduction issue with North Korea, and emphasized that he thinks it is more important than ever for U.N. sanctions to be implemented against Pyongyang in the wake of the unprecedented U.S.-North Korea summit on June 12, the ministry said.

Kono is on a weeklong tour that will take him to Indonesia and Thailand after Bhutan.

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