Japan Ambassador Kazunari Tanaka attended the handover ceremony on Likiep last month for two new vessels as part of the Japan-funded “Project for the improvement of Sea Transportation in Likiep Atoll.”
The grant amounting up to $80,500 for the procurement of two boats was funded through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
The handover ceremony was attended by Internal Affairs Minister Ota Kisino, Likiep Mayor Nicholas deBrum, Likiep Advisor Christopher deBrum, local government staff, people of Likiep Atoll as well as officials of the Embassy of Japan.
Ambassador Tanaka expressed appreciation for the efforts of all those involved in and dedicated to this project, pointing out that “sea transportation is a lifeline in the Marshall Islands and so is for the people in Likiep Atoll. With the provision of these boats, people in Likiep are able to secure means of transportation connecting many islands in Likiep Atoll.”
The ambassador said “The Government of Japan has been a close partner over many years with the Government and people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and continues to work together for the well-being of the people of the Marshall Islands.”
“I would like to thank the people and Government of Japan for the much needed assistance for the Grassroots Human Security Project for Likiep Atoll,” said Mayor deBrum. He said the two boats will greatly assist Likiep copra makers in transporting copra, and the whole community for movement around the atoll. “All the support and assistance from the people and Government of Japan will continue to benefit and upgrade the living standards of our communities,” he said.
The Government of Japan launched Grassroots Grant Program for the Marshall Islands in 1996. The purpose of the projects is to respond to various development needs and directly benefit people at a grassroots level. With the Likiep project, the Embassy has granted 158 GGPs in the RMI.