(Ambassador John Fritz, Father Rich MacAuliff, APIC President Yoshiyasu Sato, APIC Counselor Shoji Sato)
On April 3rd 2014, Ambassador John Fritz attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Father Rich MacAuliff SJ, the Director of Xavier High Shool, President Takashi Hayashita of Sophia University, and President Yoshiyasu “Peter” Sato of the Association for Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC). Also present for the memorable signing was Ambassador Francis Matsutaro of the Republic of Palau to Japan, who himself is a graduate of the Mabuchi Hill.
(Father Rich and President Hayashita)
Under this MOU, Sophia University will be accepting a student from Xavier High School annually beginning the Autumn Semester of 2014. The scholarship will be jointly covered by the University and APIC.
(Father Rich delivering a speech)
Early this year, APIC President Mr. Yoshiyasu Sato (former Ambassador to China) and APIC Counselor Mr. Shoji Sato (former Ambassador to FSM) visited the FSM and met President Emanuel “Manny” Mori and the management of Xavier High School to formalize the initiative.
(After signing the MOU)
Ambassador John Fritz visited Kochi Prefecture from January 29-31. This visit was intended for a series of follow up meetings with key players of the Kochi-Pohnpei direct flight which took place in October 2013, and to further look into possible opportunities to enhance industrial, technical, and educational exchanges with the Prefecture. Kochi Prefecture is the home of the late Koben Mori, founder of the Mori Family of Chuuk State.
Soon upon arrival, a meeting was prepared with Mr. Hajime Okamura, the Chairman of Kochi University of Techonology, Mr. Taketo Sakuma, the President, Mr. Masahiko Isobe, Vice-President, and several directors and heads of departments. At the meeting, a full scholarship program designed for Doctoral candidates was introduced in hopes of suitable applicants from FSM. Later, Ambassador was toured around campus, including the newly constructed International House where international students reside for the whole duration of their study as part of the scholarship offer.
In the evening a welcoming reception was hosted by the Honorable Farmer Doi, Chairman of Kochi-Micronesia Friendship Association who is also a member of Kochi Prefectural Assembly. At the reception were several members who took part in the Kochi-Pohnpei flight, including the Deputy Governor of Kochi Prefecture, Mr. Iwaki.
The second day began with a series of courtesy calls and meetings. The first meeting of the day was with the Mayor of Kochi City Mr. Seiya Okazaki, the Deputy Mayor Mr. Nakajima, and his staff. Mayor Okazaki along with Deputy Mayor Nakajima who took part in the direct flight, were eager for further exchanges between the City and FSM.
The second meeting was arranged between Ambassador and the Speaker of Kochi Prefectural Assembly, the Honorable Mr. Morita and 6 other assembly members who took part in the direct flight. Frank discussion was exchanged in creating more flight opportunities between FSM and Kochi, in a way that will be beneficial to both parties.
The next meeting was held between Mr. Doi, Mr. Yamazaki, and Mr. Yamamoto of the Kochi-Micronesia Friendship Association. The agenda concentrated on further developing FSM-Kochi relationship, in various fields ranging from educational to business exchanges. The Association was the key player in pushing forward the direct charter flight to Pohnpei.
Later Ambassador was escorted to the Makino Botanical Garden where he received the welcoming of the Assistant Director Mr. Seiichi Irifuku and his staff. Ambassador was toured through the facilities and inspected the young breadfruit trees presented to the prefecture by President Mori, which was being nurtured at the garden until the young trees grow strong enough for planting.
After the garden, Ambassdaor was escorted to the Kochi Prefectural Industrial Technology Center where he was welcomed by the Manager of the center, Mr. Takahiro Tsushima, the Director of Food and Beverage Development Mr. Haruhiko Uehigashi, and their staff. 12 kilograms worth of taro from FSM was brought to the Center for shochu production experiment. Ambassador was briefed on the outcome which proved to be successful and promising. Mr. Uehigashi advised that several more samples of taro and other agricultural produce may be necessary for further experiments and a thorough analysis of this shochu project.
The following day, escorted by Mr. Yamazaki, Ambassador met with the President of Kochi Shinbun Mr. Hayao Miyata. Although the president did not take part in the direct flight, he sent several of his staff and the company had been instrumental in issuing articles on Kochi-FSM relations.
After the meeting, Mr. Yamazaki invited Ambassador to the assembly of Kochi West Rotary Club which was not in the initial planning. Ambassador gave a short remark thanking the Club as some members had taken part in the direct charter flight to Pohnpei.
The last meeting of this visit was a courtesy call on the Honorable Masanao Ozaki, the Governor of Kochi Prefecture and his Deputy Governor Mr. Iwaki. Present also at the meeting were Mr. Yamazaki and Mr. Yamamoto of Kochi-FSM Friendship Association, and several directors of the Prefectural Government who themselves had joined the direct flight. Ambassador Fritz, on behalf of President Mori, presented a certificate of friendship symbolized by the young breadfruit trees currently nurtured at the botanical garden to Governor Ozaki.
On January 19, two representatives from the National Government, Mr. Carl D. Apis, Assistant Secretary of the Division of Asian, Pacific, Africa and Multilateral Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Leo Lokopwe, Assistant Secretary of the Marine Division of the Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure arrived in Tokyo for a week long schedule to finalize and seal the contract for the 2nd Vessel committed to the FSM under the Government of Japan’s Official Development Assistance.
On the 20th (Mon), the two gentlemen paid a courtesy visit to the Head Quarters of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) the implementing agency for the assistance, and the following day took part in the formal bidding session.
Mr. Takahashi (Left) briefing Mr. Apis (Center) and Mr. Lokopwe (Right)
The bidding proceeded in the presence of the two National Government representatives from Palikir along with the FSM Embassy Economic Attache Mr. Kunio Suenaga. Also present were JICA representive Mr. Hidetoshi Ishioka and Mr. Kuniaki Takahashi, the President of the Fisheries Engineering Co., Ltd (FEC), who serves as the consultant for this project and three groups of representatives from various shipyard companies. Kegoya Dock Co., Ltd. located in Kure City of Hiroshima Prefecture successfully out-bid the other contenders to win the bidding.
(from left, back) 2 gentlemen from Nakatani Dock, 1 gentleman from IBS dock, Mr Soeda (FEC), and (from left, front) 2 gentlemen from Kegoya Dock, Mr Isioka (JICA), Mr Apis, Mr. Lokopwe, and 2 gentlemen from FEC
On the 23rd (Thu), Mr. Apis, Mr. Lokopwe and Mr. Suenaga travelled to Hiroshima for an inspection and tour of the dock where the new vessel will be constructed, accompanied by Mr. Takakashi of FEC, and his staff Mr. Soeda.
Inspecting the Kegoya Dock at Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture
The following day on January 24 (Fri), Mr. Carl D. Apis, and Mr. Toshinori Teramoto, President of Kegoya Dock Co., Ltd. formally signed the contract for the new vessel. In witness were Mr. Takahashi of FEC and his staff as well as staff from the Kegoya Dock and staff from the FSM Tokyo Embassy.
Mr. Carl D. Apis and Mr. Toshinori Teramoto shaking hands after the signing
In meetings with JICA, Kegoya Dock and FEC, the FSM Delegation stressed the importance that His Excellency President Emanual Mori attaches to the vessel in line with the priority that the President has made towards improving domestic transportation within the nation. The vessel is donated to the FSM during the year that marks the 25 anniversary of establishment of relations between Japan and the FSM. When completed, this vessel will serve as a symbol of the close bonds of friendship that exists between the peoples of the two respective countries.
A warm season’s greetings to all our beloved Citizens and Family members!
This year has marked another milestone in the history of our strong and friendly relationship with Japan, reaching a quarter-of-a-century in diplomatic partnership. We are also very pleased to note that our social and economic ties with Japan are getting stronger by the years.
Together with you, our resident citizens and beloved family members, we hope to further bridge our strong bonds of Kizuna for the next 25 years to come and further more.
May the season bring you and your family members, happiness, good health, and good fortune.
On November 1 (Fri), the Embassy held a reception commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Diplomatic Establishment between FSM and Japan, and also a joint commemoration of the 27th Independence Day of FSM.
The evening was filled with a mixture of diplomatic formalities and familial ambience, with high ranking representations, lively dances and music, humorous speeches, good sake, and excellent fish from FSM, all provided by the Governments, friends, and supporters. Participants were pleasantly surprised by the appearance of the Goodwill Ambassador to FSM, Mr. Takizawa Hideaki, and most especially by the presence of the Prime Minister’s wife Mrs. Akie Abe.
Many of the participants were traditional supporters and long-time friends, but a few students and families of FSM citizen residing in Japan also came to join the festivity. Some new faces, mainly from the private business sector, were present after completing the business and investment seminars which were held prior that day. Well over 600 participants joined the celebration marking it the largest reception held by the Embassy since its establishment.
Present at the reception from FSM Government was the Executive Branch headed by the President His Excellency Emanuel M. Mori, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Honorable Lorin Robert, the Secretary of Resources and Development Honorable Marion Henry, the Secretary of Justice Honorable April Skilling, the Chief of Staff Mr. Leo Falcam Jr., the Registrar of Corporation Mr. Samari Suda, and Mr. Marcelus Akapito of President’s Office.
From the Legislative Branch, the Honorable Dohsis Halbert, Speaker of the 18th Congress, lead his delegation comprising of the Honorable Paliknoa K. Welly, the Honorable Peter Christian, the Honorable Yosiwo George, the Honorable Berney Martin, and the Honorable Wesly Semina, staffed by the Legislative Consul Mr. Tun Lam Dang.
Several weeks prior to the Reception, the Embassy held multiple events promoting the 25 Years of Diplomatic ties with Japan. Two of such events were held in collaboration with the Honorary Counsels of Osaka and Hokkaido, another event was held in Chiba where a ceremonial tree planting event took place in the presence of Secretary Lorin Robert and strong FSM supporters.
On October 31st, one day prior to the reception, the President had the opportunity to hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe, to touch base on important key issues on bilateral and regional levels and also to strengthen the existing Kizuna between Japan and FSM.
Ambassador Fritz, along with Japan Far Seas Purse Seine Fishing Association Chairman Mr Akira Nakamae, and Taiyo A&F President Mr. Toshio Abe, visited Makurazaki City of Kagoshima Prefecture for the launching ceremony for the new vessel of the Nippon Maru Project.
The Project is funded by the Government of Japan, and in cooperation with the Mazkurazaki City, the vessel will operate under Taiyo Micronesia Corporation, a Joint Venture between Taiyo A&F and NFC, to supply fish to the city’s Bonito Industry. Makurazaki is well known for its fisheries industry, and this humble city of 23,638 (2010 census) in population is the largest producer of dried bonito in all of Japan.
Ambassador Fritz also had the opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Makurazaki City Mr. Tadashi Kamisono and various representatives of the Makurazaki Fishing Coop and members of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
Representatives from FSM including NORMA and its board members, R&D, NFC visited the site for consultative meetings as well as to observe the bonito processing plants.
The staff of the Embassy and their families join me and my family in extending our warmest greetings of the season and wishing you all a Happy New Year! May the days to come bring you and your family members good Fortune, Peace and Prosperity!
On December 11 2012, President Emanuel Mori welcomed investors in Tokyo at seminars initiated by MRA. In his welcoming remarks, the President touched on the strong Kizuna between the People and Government of Japan and FSM, and encouraged more investments assuring the audience that FSM will do all that is necessary to further prepare a safe and friendly business environment.
Accompanying the President were Secretary Lorin Robert of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Secretary Marion Henry of the Department of Resources and Development. Mr. Samari Suta of the Registrar of Corporations and Mr. Jessy Giltamag, the Insurance Commissioner also took part at the seminars as presenters.
From the Legislative, Speaker Isaac Figir, Senator Peter Christian and Senator Roger Mori were present to welcome the investors. Speaker Figir gave a toast at the concluding reception, thanking the interested business people and urged them to visit FSM.
On the side, the President visited the ancient city of Kyoto to inspect a renewable energy farm. This trip was arranged by Softbank in conjunction with the interest to look at the possibility of a joint pilot project utilizing Softbank’s renewable energy technology.
The President along with Speaker Figir and the rest of the delegation also had the opportunity to meet with representatives of Japan fisheries agencies for a frank discussion on the need to further strengthen the existing fisheries relationship.
Heading the FSM delegation, Vice President Alik L. Alik arrived in Japan on October 9, 2012 to attend the 2012 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group held on October 10-14, 2012 in Tokyo.
The IMF-World Bank Group annual meeting’s program is designed to bring together financial leaders, policy makers and top thinkers to discuss economic and development challenges facing the world today. The interactive sessions have been organized with special emphasis on the global economy, jobs and competitiveness, the euro area, growth in Asia, global health, low-income issues, inclusive growth, and sovereign risk. More than 10,000 participants attended the meeting.
On the sidelines of the annual meetings, the Vice President held bilateral meetings with the Executive Director of IMF for Asia and Pacific and the Executive Director for the World Bank. During these meetings, Vice President took the opportunity to reiterate FSM’s appreciation for the assistances and cooperation that both institutions have extended to the FSM over the years. He went further by seeking technical and financial assistance on projects including the fiber optic cable, tax reform, and climate change, and assured them that FSM will continue to collaborate with them at the regional and bilateral level.
Vice President took the opportunity to brief them on the current situation in FSM and the upcoming Leadership Summit to be held back to back with the Donor Countries meeting in the early part of November this year, which both institutions are invited to take part.
Vice President also took the opportunity to meet with Mr. George Hara, Ambassador and Chairman of the Board, and Mr. Mikio Tanji, Executive Director, of the Alliance Forum Foundation. This Foundation was invovled in organizing a meeting, at the sideline of the PALM 6th, bewteen the PIF leaders and the companies executives to pave way for a closer working relationship between the Pacific island countries and the private sector leaders of Japan who are members of this Foundation. In this meeting, frank views were exchanged in light of past economic cooperation between the two countries and the prospect of future cooperation.
Vice President’s delegation comprised of Acting Secretary of Finance, Rose Nakanaga (FSM Governor to IMF and World Bank), Secretary of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure, Francis Itimai, International Finance Coordinator (Alternate Governor), Senny Phillip, and FSM Ambassador to Japan, John Fritz.
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As part of the ongoing reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster that struck the Northern Regions of Japan in 2011, Iwaki City of Fukushima Prefecture hosted the very 1st Pacific Countries Dance Festival on October 6th and 7th at the Onahama Port Marine Park.
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Along with Ambassador Fritz of the Tokyo Embassy, 6 performers from the Island of Pollap in Chuuk State took part in the festival. Our performers exhibited traditional dances telling the tales of how the people of Pollap through their fishing techniques and knowledge of the sea, worked hand in hand with nature and with each other for survival. Also present at the event were dancers from Samoa, Tonga, Australia and Hawaii.
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This 1st Pacific Countries Dance Festival was jointly organized alongside the 2nd Sea Food Gourmet Competition, the Iwaki Produce Expo, and the 18th Japan Soba Expo. Iwaki City officials reported that over 80,000 spectators joined the whole festivity from the neighboring areas.
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