Japan provides boats, vans

Minister Wisely Zackhras, Ambassador Tanaka Kazunari, EPA General Manager Moriana Phillip, and Minister Bremity Lakjohn at the boat handover ceremony. Photo: Eve Burns.

EVE BURNS

Japan Embassy kick started the year with many completed projects and more on the way.

Ambassador Tanaka Kazunari handed over four boats to Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) General Manager Moriana Phillip last Thursday. The boats are 37 feet long.

Witnessing the ceremony were Minister in Assistance to the President Bremity Lakjohn, Auditor General Junior Patrick, Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce Iva Reimers Roberto, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Human Services Francyne Wase-Jacklick and EPA employees.

The boats are part of oil spill response equipment provided through Japanese grant aid under an “Economic and Social Development Program.”

Ambassador Tanaka thanked everyone at the ceremony for their long-term dedication to the project and stated his hope that “these products and equipment will be deployed in Majuro and other neighboring atolls and contribute to reinforcing RMI’s oil spill response capacity and assist RMI’s ongoing efforts in addressing the conservation of the marine environment and ecosystems on which the Marshallese people rely for their daily life and fishery resources.”

According to him, “Japan’s cooperation for the preservation of the marine environment with the RMI and other Pacific Island countries embodies our commitment in the previous Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting.”

“Arigato Gozaimashita (kommol tata)” was extended by GM Phillip to the Japanese government and people for their seven years of support for this environmental project.

In addition, Ambassador Tanaka graced Namdrik Atoll Local Government with two microbuses.

Witnessing the ceremony were Ministers Wisely Zackhras (who represents Namdrik), Bremity Lakjohn, and Thomas Heine, Namdrik Mayor Clarence Luther and Ministry of Works, Infrastructure and Utilities Secretary Jefferson Barton and the staff of Ministry of Works, where the handover took place.

Under Japan’s grant aid program for FY2021, the microbuses are a component of “the Project for Heavy Machineries for Infrastructure Development.”

In addition to expressing his gratitude to everyone involved for their long-term commitment to the project, Ambassador Tanaka said at the ceremony that he hoped “these vehicles, along with the other machinery and equipment, will be used effectively, and various infrastructure improvements will bring peace of mind and safety to the lives of the Marshall Islands.”

“Japan hopes to continue the friendship between the RMI and Japan, and will continue its efforts for the development of the country and well-being of its people.”

Minister Zackhras thanked the Japanese government and people for their unwavering support of the people of Namdrik and RMI. He said that the buses will be help both Namdrik Atoll residents and students.

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