Friday, November 8, 2013

FSM President Mori and Speaker Halbert join “double play” celebrations in Tokyo

FSM Ambassador John Fritz and Mrs. Fritz welcoming guests to the dinner reception at the Royal Park Hotel

FSMIS (November 8, 2013): Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President Manny Mori and Speaker of FSM Congress Dohsis Halbert attended a “double play” celebration at the Royal Park Hotel in Tokyo on November 1, 2013 – an event that attracted over seven hundred attendants from Japan.

According to Mr. John Fritz, FSM Ambassador to Japan, the ceremony marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relation between FSM and Japan and the 27th year of FSM Independence.

President Mori arrived in Tokyo on October 29, giving himself time to also attend the opening of the Captive Insurance Council Seminar and the Seminar on Investment for Major Corporations. These seminars were organized by the Micronesia Registrations Advisors, Incorporated (MRA), which is contracted by the FSM Government to promote the FSM captive insurance program in Japan.

The November 1st celebration brought in the handful of FSM citizens in Japan as well as a number of dignitaries and friends of the FSM who joined in the festive commemoration of the “strong bond” that exists between Japan and the FSM.

The most “stand-out” guest at the function was Japan First Lady Akie Abe who surprised everyone by showing up almost un-noticed. First Lady Abe is a friend of Mrs. Momoe Fritz, the spouse of FSM Ambassador Fritz.

A star in his own right as a popular television actor, Mr. Takizawa Hideaki drew attention to the function where he joined President Mori and other FSM and Japan Government officials on stage in the sake barrel breaking ritual. He also made a brief remark. Mr. Takizawa is a goodwill ambassador for the FSM, a role conferred to him when he visited the FSM a year ago on the first Japan-FSM direct flight.

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Japan at the reception were the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hirotaka Ishihara and the Minister of State in charge of Building National Resilience and Disaster Management, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission and Chairman of the Japan-FSM Parliamentarian Friendship League, Mr. Keiji Furuya.

In his remark, President Mori underscored the strengthened historical ties between Japan and Micronesia and thanked the Government and People of Japan for the years of friendship and mutual cooperation. He acknowledged a few events that took place earlier during the month as part of the highlights for the 25th anniversary celebration. These included the “friendship flight” from Kochi to Pohnpei and a golf tournament in Chiba, organized by the Association for Micronesian Development (AMD). He also highlighted the shared values that are foundational to Japanese and Micronesian way of life.

“I am proud to acknowledge our shared values such as our cultures, the love of family and respect for the elders, and we both love to eat fish! As island nations, we are seafaring peoples.  We are blessed by the resources and abundance of the seas. We should commit ourselves, therefore, to protecting our ocean’s resources.” 

President Mori said that he and Prime Minister Abe were committed to further deepening the relations between their countries in many ways. He also pledged to seek for the introduction of Japanese language in the school curriculum in the FSM to emphasize the value of the FSM-Japan mutual relationship.

The two Leaders held a bilateral meeting at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence on October 31st, followed by a press conference and a working dinner where they were joined by former Prime Minister Mori-sensei. 

Emphasizing the significance that the FSM Government has placed on the commemoration of the FSM-Japan diplomatic relation and the promotional engagements that have been on-going within the investment and business sector, a Congress Delegation, headed by Speaker Dohsis Halbert, took part in the seminars and the dinner reception.

Accompanying Speaker Halbert were Vice Speaker Paliknoa K. Welly; Senator Yosiwo P. George, Chairman of the Committee on External Affairs; Senator Wesley W. Simina, Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations; Senator Peter M. Christian, Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Communication; Senator Berney Martin, Vice Chairman of the Committee on External Affairs and Mr. Lam Dang, Legal Counsel for FSM Congress.

Members of President Mori’s delegation included Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lorin Robert; Secretary of Justice, Ms. April Dawn Skilling; Secretary of Resources and Development, Mr. Marion Henry; Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr. and FSM Ambassador John Fritz. 

FSM and Japan established diplomatic ties in December, 1988. FSM opened its Embassy in Tokyo in 1989. In 1991, Japan reciprocated with the opening of its Embassy in Pohnpei.

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