APIC visits, hosts reunion

MIMRA Coastal Fisheries official Bryant Zebedy presents a Marshallese handicraft to Japan Ambassador Toshinori Shigeie, the president of the Association for Promotion of International Cooperation. APIC supports a range of leadership and study programs for Marshallese and citizens of Palau and the FSM. Photo: Giff Johnson.

The President of Japan’s Association for Promotion of International Cooperation led a delegation to Majuro in late February, hosting Marshall Islands participants of APIC programs to a reunion dinner.

Japan Ambassador Toshinori Shigeie, APIC’s president, presided over a dinner at Won Hai Shien for a mixed group of local people who had attended various APIC-sponsored leadership, education and media programs.

Among the group was Jikit Rufus, who graduated from the Sophia University environment program with a master’s degree and works for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce. He is the RMI’s first and only graduate of the Sophia master’s program. Current Sophia student Nover Juria is scheduled to graduation with his MA later this year. Nover works with the National Weather Service in RMI.

Professor Ann MacDonald, who runs the Sophia University master’s environment program, was with the team and spoke about the program and what it has done for her personally and professionally as well as for the students. In addition to Marshallese students, people from Palau and the FSM are eligible for the Sophia program.

Also in the group were MEC GEO Jack Chong Gum, MIMRA Coastal Fisheries officer Bryant Zebedy and Trust Company Deputy Maritime Administrator James Myazoe, who had participated in leadership programs supported by APIC. Giff Johnson, who has been part of an APIC media program uniquely designed for island journalists, also attended.

Japan Embassy officials were also part of the group. The dinner was co-hosted by the embassy and APIC.

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