Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Japan

Japan had pledged $400 million yen or $3.6 million to help boost Palau’s maritime security, the office of the President in Palau confirmed in a text message yesterday evening, March 11.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. had reportedly signed a grant aid during a meeting in Japan on March 8.

A statement sent by the Japan Embassy to the media stated that the two leaders signed the grant contract where Japan will be providing motorboats and floating markers to Palau which will be used for the latter’s maritime security and fishery.

It was also stated that Japan offered new assistance for disaster prevention and reduction.

A report by the Japan-based newspaper, Mainichi, one of the largest newspapers in Japan, stated that Japan also vows to help crack down on illegal fishing in Palau’s waters as many Japanese vessels also sail through it.

“We have discussed the cooperative effort to bring more Japanese investment to Palau,” Remengesau was quoted saying in the report.

It was also stated that Remengesau also expressed for possibility of having more frequent, direct airline services from Japan to Palau.

The two leaders also discussed other matters such as the celebration of 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties of the two countries, free and open Indo-Pacific, trade, investment, and tourism, and the retrieval of World War 2 remains of Japanese soldiers from Palau’s island, Peleliu, among others.

Remengesau was also reportedly scheduled for a meeting with Japan Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)