On March 16, 2022, Ambassador of Japan Akira Karasawa and Director of Bureau of Archives and Media, Ministry of State Linda Ngirameketii signed a grant contract for “The Project for the Procurement of Radio Broadcasting Equipment to Division of Media and Information Services” worth $73,925. The ceremony was witnessed by Minister of State Gustav Aitaro and many guests.

“Eco Paradise FM 89.7” (EPFM) is the only public radio broadcast in Palau and an indispensable media for daily lives of residents. EPFM is providing essential information including the Government announcement, public events, the COVID-19 updates and weather forecasts. In emergencies, the radio station plays a vital role in disseminating evacuation and assistance information.

The national radio has a broadcasting studio in Meyuns and a transmitting station in Malakal. However, one of the two transmission systems in the station cannot be used now because some of the key machines and devices including transmission antennas have been damaged and deteriorated. In the event of a natural disaster heavily damaging the facilities and equipment, the studio cannot continue its broadcast because it does not have any portable broadcasting equipment for temporary broadcasts outside of the studio. When the frequency and severity of natural disasters hitting Palau have increased in recent years as exemplified by Typhoon Surigae last April, the national radio has a significant risk in maintaining its broadcast in case of emergencies.

To help Palau address this critical issue, the Embassy of Japan has decided to provide a grant aid worth $73,925 to renovate 36 devices including FM antennas and portable broadcasting equipment through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The studio will be able to introduce redundant transmission systems and temporary broadcasting systems, which will significantly enhance stability of the broadcasts. Moreover, this project will enable EPFM to record various new programs by using the renovated broadcasting systems. Through these outcomes, the project is expected to enhance resiliency of Palau to natural disasters and sustain lives and livelihoods of residents in the county.

At the ceremony, Ambassador Karasawa stated, “This is our first support for the national radio in Palau and showcasing Japan’s intensive assistance to Palau in disaster management areas. I hope this project will enhance resiliency of Palau to natural disasters and sustain lives and livelihoods of residents in the country.” Minister Aitaro stated, “I am deeply grateful for the generous support of the people and government of Japan to benefit lives of all people in Palau.”

The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999 to meet development needs in grassroots activities in Palau. The Embassy of Japan has signed 92 grant contracts with schools, hospitals, state governments and NGOs. For further information about GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Embassy of Japan website at https://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/about_ggp.html.

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