On August 21, 2014, a five-member delegation from Japan, consisting of officials from Sophia University as well as distinguished members of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) visited the Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori in Palikir.
President Mori welcomed the delegation and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to meet with them and discuss matters of mutual interest and benefit in the education sector.
President Mori acknowledged Japan’s increasing investment in the FSM with potential impacts in stimulating the economy and welcomed the new collaboration in the education sector. The President also spoke of his interest to visit Sophia University in response to its invitation for the President to speak at the University and to receive an honorary doctorate degree during his trip to Japan later in November.
Mr. Takashi Hayashita, President of Sophia University, thanked President Mori for receiving the delegation and his support for the university’s initiative to establish a new collaborative relationship with the College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM). He then confirmed the university’s plan to confer an honorary doctorate degree on President Mori in recognition of his strong leadership in deepening further the bilateral relations between Japan and the FSM.
Mr. Hiroshi Yamamoto, President of Sophia University Junior College (SUJC) followed suit in speaking about the college’s goal in establishing a new friendship with COM-FSM. He said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SUJC and COM-FSM is being drafted for signature by the institutions, which will allow students from SUJC to take an English language course at COM-FSM and learn from the rich cultures and history of Micronesia.
Sophia University has already started a new scholarship program for Xavier High School graduates through which a graduate each year will be selected on merit to study at Sophia University. A student has been selected for school year 2014-2015.
Wrapping up the meeting, President Mori recognized the important contribution that the Association for Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) has made regarding the establishment of the new scholarship for Xavier High School and the new initiative between Sophia and the COM-FSM. He thanked former Japanese Ambassador to FSM Shoji Sato who is a new member of APIC for his strong support for these new initiatives.
Besides Ambassador Sato, the visiting group included Mr. Takashi Hayashita, President of Sophia University and also professor of Science and Technology, Mr. Hiroshi Yamamoto, President of Sophia University Junior College, Mr. Megumi Araki, Director of APIC, and Mr. Yoshihiko Miwa, Director of the Office of General Affairs.
The Micronesian Registration Advisors, Inc. (MRA) played a key role in arranging the visit and meetings with government and College officials for the group. In this connection, former FSM Ambassador to Japan Kasio Mida, senior MRA executive in Pohnpei, was also present at the meeting with President Mori.