On 14 March 2022, the Government of Palau and Mie Prefecture of Japan signed an MOU to promote an extended range of exchanges and cooperation between the two parties as a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of their friendship. The virtual signing ceremony was attended by President Surangel S. Whipps Jr., Senator Mason N. Whipps, Delegate Mario S. Gulibert, Minister of State Gustav Aitaro and distinguished guests from Palau side. From Japan side, Governor of Mie Prefecture Katsuyuki Ichimi, Chairman of Mie Prefectural Assembly Members’ Federation of International Exchange Promotion Tetsuo Mitani, Ambassador of Japan Akira Karasawa and many officials attended the ceremony.

The Government of Palau and Mie Prefecture of Japan established friendship relations on July 25, 1996. The late Former President Kuniwo Nakamura, whose father was born in Ise City of Mie, made many visits to Mie and led the establishment of the friendly relations. Palau and Mie have expanded cooperation projects in environment, tourism, fisheries and culture for 25 years, exchanging more than 400 experts, researchers, teachers and high school students.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of their friendship, Palau and Mie agreed to “further promote an extended range of exchanges and cooperation to respond to the new challenges.”  The new cooperation projects include a repair of a traditional Palauan canoe donated to Mie by then President Nakamura as a token of friendship. The repaired canoe will be used by the students of Mie Prefectural Fisheries High School, which has been a sister school of Palau High School since 1997. In addition, Mie and Palau will begin an agricultural cooperation project to enhance agricultural production and health of people in Palau by exchanging experts and students.

At the ceremony, President Whipps stated, “Toward the next 25 years, we hope to enhance our partnership with the people and the government of Mie Prefecture and promote our economic and technical cooperation.” In response, Governor Ichimi stated, “I will promote exchanges and cooperation between Palau and Mie furthermore. I would like to visit Palau and meet President Whipps after the pandemic is over.” Ambassador Karasawa congratulated the ceremony and said, “This ceremony becomes another opportunity to renew Japan’s commitment to support Palau for benefits of all the people in Palau.”

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