The Embassy of Japan held the Japan-Palau Commemoration Ceremony at Ngarachamayong Cultural Center, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationships on October 9, 2019. The ceremony was organized on the occasion of the port call of the Japan Training Squadron of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to Palau from October 8 to 11.

More than 500 people attended the event including Vice President Oilouch and JMSDF crews. The highlight of the first half of the program was the awarding ceremony of the 2019 Spring Imperial Decoration, Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, to former Minister of State, Mr. Billy Godfried Kuartei for his distinguished services of strengthening bilateral relations between Japan and Palau. Furthermore, introduction of JICA volunteer activities took place on stage and handing over of sports equipment delivered by the Japan Training Squadron. The sports equipment was donated by municipalities in Japan, including Palau’s host town for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Hitachiomiya city.

The latter half of the event was hosted by the Japan Training Squadron. On stage, they performed karate and then their official band performed a concert, that also included the playing of Japanese drums. During the concert, third class petty officer Yukari Miyake sang songs such as Nada Sousou by an Okinawan group named BEGIN, as well as Ai Sansan, a well-known song sung by Misora Hibari. The remarkable performances gained much appreciation and applause by the whole audience.

On this commemorative year which marks the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau, the Embassy of Japan hopes that the special relationship that exists between both countries would continue to flourish in the years to come. (PR)