Monday, October 21, 2013

Kochi-Micronesia direct flight highlights historic bond and family ties

FSM President Mori shakes hand with Kochi Prefecture Vice Governor Iwaki during the courtesy call on the President. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert assists the President presenting gifts to the visiting dignitaries

In the evening of October 19, a group of 87 Japanese visitors arrived Pohnpei on a direct flight that is tagged a “Kochi Prefecture-Micronesia Friendship Tour”. Many of the visitors are members of the recently strengthened Kochi-Micronesia Friendship Association.

A handful of officials and friends who were on this “special flight” visited FSM President Manny Mori the morning of October 20 at the President’s Conference Room. Among them were the Vice-Governor of the Kochi Prefecture, Mr. Tokaki Iwaki, Mr. Eiji Morita, Chairman of the Kochi Prefecture Assembly, Mr. Masaharu Doi, Assembly Member and Chairman of the Kochi-Micronesia Friendship Association and Mr. Shiyemitsu Nakajima, Deputy Mayor of Kochi City.

President Mori welcomed the dignitaries and visitors to Micronesia and expressed his appreciation for their concrete efforts in making the Kochi-Micronesia Friendship a reality. He assured the visiting officials and friends that the FSM will continue taking steps in improving its infrastructures and related regulations to pave the way for tourism activities and business investment. He later made a friendly request, seeking for the assistance from the visiting officials in promoting the FSM as a possible business joint-venture and tourism destination.

The Japanese officials expressed gratitude for the opportunity to meet with President Mori in person and the general welcome accorded to the special flight. They also highlighted their pleasure over the fact that their trip coincides with the 25th anniversary year of the FSM-Japan bilateral diplomatic relation. Moreover, they expressed that their trip would deepen long-standing relationship between Kochi and Micronesia.
Visiting officials, Ambassador Suzuki and President Mori

An October 19th letter from Seiya Okazaki, Mayor of the City of Kochi expressed, “The relationship between Kochi and Micronesia began when Mori Koben migrated from Japan to the State of Chuuk 121 years ago. Mori Koben overcame various hardships and left a legacy that is still recounted today”.  He also said, “… President Emmanuel Mori took time from his busy schedule to visit Kochi in 2008 and 2010 to bolster our ties. I sincerely expect that this current visit will further deepen the relationship between Kochi and Micronesia”.

The Governor of the Kochi Prefecture, Mr. Masanao Ozaki, also wrote, “We believe that this visit will strengthen the bonds between our two regions and further deepen our mutual trust. We would like to use this opportunity to build a continuously developing and sustainable economic and cultural exchange”.

The FSM-Kochi Friendship Association Micronesia Chapter and the Mori Family on Pohnpei hosted the Kochi delegation to a dinner reception at the COM-FSM Gym on Sunday night.

Some of the visitors were booked to visit Chuuk from October 21 to 23, where they would meet relatives and visit the Mori Koben monument on Tonoas Island.

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