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ASIAN VOICES is an interview and debate program hosted by NHK senior commentator Aiko Doden. We discuss key international issues from an Asian perspective, together with experts.


Thu.23:30 - 0:00
Fri.5:30 - 6:00
11:30 - 12:00
17:30 - 18:00

Sep. 25, Thu.*This program was first broadcast on Sep. 11

Bhutan's Balancing Act: Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of Bhutan

  • Tshering Tobgay

    (Prime Minister of Bhutan)

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has often been called the "Kingdom of Happiness" for using Gross National Happiness (GNH) as an indicator of people's prosperity rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP), measuring economic growth. GNH places importance on people's well-being and the environment. But along with advancing globalization and expanding foreign tourism, the country is struggling with high levels of youth unemployment and a growing economic gap between urban and rural areas. It is in this climate that Tshering Tobgay was sworn in as prime minister last year. He has pledged to grow the economy and create jobs while continuing efforts to protect the environment and the nation's culture in pursuit of GNH. Bhutan is also facing the challenge of managing relations with the 2 major powers it borders: India and China. We ask Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, who has just marked his first anniversary in office, how he plans to balance the aims of spiritual and economic growth while establishing Bhutan's place alongside two of the world's most populous nations.