As the Minister of the Environment, my office is always crowded with many visitors. A Nepalese karate teacher and his younger sister visited my office.
Mr. Hisataka, a karate grandmaster who accompanied them, and his son are my old friends. They have been engaged in international activities of karate for many years. Particularly, they have been training their followers who are teaching karate to a lot of youngsters in Central Asia including Nepal and Mongolia.
Nepal is one of the developing countries in Asia, and the people in Nepal generally respect the spirit of Bushido, in other words, Japanese chivalry, and thus, their spirit is similar to ours. From this viewpoint, both countries’ exchanges will further be strengthened. While there are many problems in promoting the exchanges between the two countries – the severe issue of Japan visas, for example, it is important for us to assist these Nepalese people at any cost as we are asked by them.
I had a ‘shawl of happiness in Nepal’ put around my neck, and was very happy literally.