The Executive Branch of the Marshall Islands reappointed Tom Kijiner as the Marshallese envoy to Japan Monday at the ICC Cabinet Room.
Chief Justice Carl Ingram presided over the swearing-in ceremony witnessed by President Hilda Heine, First Gentleman Tommy Kijiner, Jr., Foreign Minister John Silk, other Cabinet members, and family members. Ambassador Kijiner has been ambassador to Japan for many years and his term was extended earlier in the year by Heine’s Administration with the support of Nitijela.
Kijiner shifted limelight from himself to recognize the women in Nitijela and the exemplary standard President Heine has set for the many nations in the Pacific.
“The trend of Marshallese women going beyond the norm in the political arena dates back to when congress was introduced in our islands and I am honored to see women continuing that trend,” Kijiner said during his remarks.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize Chief Justice Carl Ingram, who had promised his wife (our traditional mother) that he would assist us Marshallese for as long as he’s in our islands,” he said. “The people of these islands will remember your good deeds.”
Prior to embarking on his role as a diplomat, Kijiner started out as teacher at Ebeye Elementary School in the late 1960s. He became a Congressman for the Marshall Islands Legislature under the US Trust Territory from 1974-1979, and was six-term Nitijela member representing Likiep from 1979-2003. During that period, he was Minister for Education (1979-1985); Minister for Finance (1985-1987); Minister for Foreign Affairs (1987-1994); and Minister for Health and Environment (1994-1999). His first diplomatic assignment was as an ambassador-at-large from 2007-2009.
Read more about this in the July 29, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.