Alii! My name is ORIKASA Hiroyuki, and I presented my Letter of Credence to H.E. Mr. Surangel S. Whipps, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau on December 6, 2022, succeeding former Ambassador KARASAWA Akira as Japanese Ambassador to Palau.
On the occasion of my arrival, I would like to extend a few words to all of you.
It is a great honor for me to serve as the Ambassador of Japan to Palau, a country with a wonderful natural environment, rich traditional culture, and deep historical ties with Japan. I am looking forward to living in Palau with my wife Pauline.
The history of Japan and Palau dates back to 1821 when the crew of the Japanese drifter Jinja Maru arrived on the shores of Palau. Records indicate that not only did the Palauan people warmly welcome the castaway crew, but that in doing so, the Palauan and Japanese people established a trusting relationship of heart-to-heart contact. When I heard this story, I, as a Japanese, felt respect and gratitude toward the Palauan people.
Our forefathers have strengthened their ties from this good encounter through the Japanese mandate period before World War II. Over time, Japan and Palau have built a close relationship based on mutual trust and respect, working together and sharing common values.
This strong bond between the two countries has been deepened by many dignitaries’ visits: Their Majesties the then Emperor and Empress of Japan to Palau in 2015; Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs to Palau in 2019 and 2022; and the two visits to Japan and two meetings with Their Majesties Emperor and Empress of Japan in September 2022 by President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr.
The year 2024 will mark the 30th anniversary of Palau’s independence and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau. It will also be the year of the 10th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM), a summit meeting of the leaders of Japan and the Pacific island countries, which Japan has been hosting every three years since 1997.
I will be fully committed to developing further the friendly, tokubetsu relations between Japan and Palau in various fields looking ahead to the next generation.
Now that the global COVID-19 travel restrictions have been generally eased, the flow of people between overseas and Palau is increasing. We hope that many Japanese will visit Palau again, spend time surrounded by the blue ocean and lush greenery, and interact with people in Palau as much as possible, which will further nurture a relationship of trust. We hope that more Palauans will visit Japan as well.
It is the mission of the Embassy to strengthen friendship and goodwill with the Palauan people and to provide appropriate administrative services to Japanese residents and visitors. In order to achieve this mission, we will do our utmost while listening to various advice and input from the people of Palau and Japan. Your cooperation and support will be greatly appreciated.
December 6, 2022
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan
to the Republic of Palau