Japan makes big donation

Japan Ambassador Norio Saito, fourth from left, joined RMI government and traditional leaders to hand over a $1 million donation of trucks, boats and fishing-related gear last Thursday at the MIMRA headquarters. Photo: Eve Burns.

EVE BURNS

As part of the Japan Grant Aid for economic and social development, the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) received from Japan Embassy a forklift, four cargo trucks, a crane truck, 11 boats and other fishery equipment such as scales, fish cutters, vacuum packers, a multi wrapper, and 78 coolers.

Joining the handover ceremony last Thursday were Japan Ambassador Norio Saito and Ministers Casten Nemra and Bruce Bilimon, Iroojlaplap Mike Kabua, Iroojlaplap Boklon Zackious, Nitijela Member Tony Aiseia, Deacon Xavier Myazoe who blessed the ceremony, MC Absalom Edwards and MIMRA staff.

The fishery equipment will be used at Outer Islands Fish Market Center in Uliga, the fish market at Kwajalein and for fish base operations on neighboring islands with the aim of improving fishery infrastructure and the fish distribution network from the neighboring islands. The donation is valued at about $1 million.

“Our cooperation in the field of fisheries, between Marshall Islands and Japan began even before our diplomatic relationship in 1988,” said Saito. He showed appreciation to the Marshall Islands for its continued cooperation. “The provision of boats, trucks, and a forklift embodies the Pacific Kizuna (bond) policy announced at the ninth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting in July, where priority areas of the cooperation were determined. One of which is strengthening the foundation for sustainable and resilient economic development,” said Saito.

“This indeed is a great opportunity that we witness the strong friendship and partnership between governments of Marshall Islands and Japan,” said Nemra in response to the donation. “This Pacific bond is very strong and it’s alive.” The foreign minister said “both governments continue to cherish and embrace.”

Handover of a symbolic key was performed by Ambassador Saito and Minister Nemra. Saito received a handicraft from Nemra. The day ended with guests enjoying good food and music.

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