Japan Ambassador Akira Karasawa handed over an ambulance to the Division of Fire and Rescue, Ministry of Justice on September 27, 2019.

The handover ceremony for “The Project for Procurement of Fire Truck and Ambulance to the Republic of Palau” was held at the fire station in Koror, and attended by Vice President / Minister of Justice Raynold B. Oilouch, Mayor of Zao town Hideto Murakami and other related personnel.

Division of Fire and Rescue has been struggling to respond timely to emergency calls, due to the various mechanical problems of fire trucks and insufficient number of ambulances they own.

To solve those problems, the Embassy of Japan and Zao town worked together to procure one fire truck and one ambulance through Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). Zao town is one of the host towns for the Palauan national team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The grant is used for recondition, remodeling the two vehicles, shipping and the cost to send trainers from Japan for short term trainings. Currently, the fire truck is being remodeled in Japan and only the ambulance was handed over the Division through the ceremony to allow immediate utilization. Moreover, two emergency medical technicians from Zao town conducted operational training with the ambulance to the Division for two days. Through the project, the Division is expected to respond to emergency calls in an appropriate and prompt manner.

At the ceremony, Ambassador Karasawa expressed his hope that in this special year of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau, the implementation of this project would lead to the further strengthening the ties between the two countries. Vice President Oilouch conveyed his appreciation to the Embassy for the grant and mentioned that the Republic needed the vehicle for the safe living of Palauan people. Furthermore, he stated that the Division would utilize and maintain the two vehicles properly. The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999, for the purpose of responding to various development needs engaged in grassroots activities in Palau. As of September 27, 2019, the Embassy has signed 78 grant contracts with schools and hospitals as well as state governments and non-profit organizations. Education, health care and environment are the primary fields prioritized by Japan for GGP in order to contribute to sustainable development of Palau. For further information about GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Embassy of Japan website at http://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itprtop_en/index.html. (PR)