President Tanaka visited the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia


From June 19 to 25, JICA President Tanaka Akihiko visited the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia. In July of this year, the Japanese government will invite the leaders of the Pacific Islands to the 10th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM10) to discuss ways to resolve issues that the countries in the region face. President Tanaka met with the leaders and government officials of both countries ahead of PALM10, toured JICA project sites, and also met with local project partners and alumni of the JICA long term training program, reviewing the results of cooperation with both countries as well as the challenges and prospects for future development.

1. Palau

In the meeting with the President of Palau, H.E. Mr. Surangel S. Whipps Jr. and other government officials, President Tanaka noted that 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau, and reflected on the people-to-people exchanges that took place between the two nations during that time, through the dispatch of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) and the acceptance of trainees. President Whipps expressed gratitude for JICA’s past cooperation and the two parties confirmed that they would consider cooperating in various areas that contribute to Palau’s sustainable economic development.

President Tanaka (center right) in a meeting with the President H.E. Mr. Whipps (center left)

Also, President Tanaka and Minister of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism and Development, Hon. Ngiraibelas Tmetuchl took a test ride on a bus route being operated on a trial basis with the technical cooperation of JICA. Palau is a car-dependent society that has no public transportation. Given this, JICA has been working to spread awareness of the lower environmental impact of using public buses and their effectiveness for assisting the elderly and those who do not own cars, in an attempt to encourage behavioral change. President Tanaka expressed his hope that local people will gain familiarity with these buses and use them in their daily lives.

Members of the project for establishing an eco-friendly transportation system

President Tanaka also visited the Belau Eco Glass Center, which is currently being supported by the city of Sanda in Hyogo Prefecture as part of the JICA Grassroot Technical Cooperation Project. During the visit, he observed recycled waste glass crafts and production at the workshop. These crafts have been highly regarded for their contributions to the development of a recycling-oriented society and a sustainable tourism industry, and are used as souvenirs for government officials by the Palau government.

Visit to the Belau Eco Glass Center

Furthermore, President Tanaka visited the Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge, an important piece of transportation infrastructure well-loved by the people and also observed JOCV activities. These visits allowed him to confirm the results of many years of cooperation.

2. Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Following the visit to Palau, President Tanaka became the first JICA President to visit the FSM, a federation consisting of four states.

In his meeting with the President, H.E. Mr. Wesley W. Simina, President Tanaka noted the approaching 35th anniversary of the start of dispatch of JOCV, mentioning that the number of volunteers which dipped during the COVID-19 pandemic was expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels. The role that the JOCV have played in human resource development over many years was also highlighted. Furthermore, he expressed JICA’s intention to continue to work closely with Pacific Island nations and the FSM government to achieve their policies. President Tanaka also spoke about the JICA-supported waste disposal site in the state of Pohnpei, highlighting the importance of proper maintenance and recycling. In response, President Simina also emphasized the deep ties between the two countries and shared his gratitude for JICA’s past cooperation, including the development of infrastructure such as airports and ports.

President H.E. Mr. Simina (second from left) meeting with President Tanaka (third from right)

President Tanaka also visited Pohnpei Port where he inspected the fishing port, which was developed through past grant aid, as well as cargo and passenger ships. In FSM, ports are essential infrastructure for supporting the economy, used by cargo and passenger ships that connect the four states and outer islands, and are also essential for the country’s main industry of fishing. President Tanaka noted that maritime logistics is a lifeline for people in the island nation, and stated JICA’s hope to contribute to the strengthening of connectivity, both domestic and international, and the economic development of the country.

Visit to Pohnpei Port

President Tanaka also visited the United Nations Multi-Country Office Micronesia to have discussion with its staffs and he also visited and exchanged opinions with a JICA long-term training ex-participant who now holds a key position in the national government.

JICA is dedicated to its ongoing efforts to resolve issues common to Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Pacific Region.

Sns share!

  • X (Twitter)
  • linkedIn
To the list page