Tokyo- The Palau Embassy in Tokyo will celebrate the 25-year diplomatic relationship with Japan by hosting for the first time a reception scheduled on Nov. 12.

Palau Ambassador Francis Matsutaro said because Japan is “one of the first nations to recognize Palau as a sovereign nation,” the government of Palau has decided to commemorate the occasion with hosting a dinner reception to the “friends and guests” of the nation.

He said President Tommy Remengesau will be in Japan at that time to lead the celebration and Palau has formally invited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to grace the event.

Matsutaro said they have also invited other officials of Japan, member of the diplomatic corps in Tokyo and officials from Palau.

”Palau embassy has been here in Japan for 23 years, as far as I know, there has never been a reception held here,” Matsutaro said.

He said Palau and Japan have had a strong relationship for over two decades. Palau and Japan’s diplomatic relationship was forged in 1994, a month after the small island nation became independent.

Matsutaro said honoring the friendship with Japan does not stop with the reception; there are also side events that are planned for the year.

In November, Palau will also hold a weeklong art exhibition at the Setagaya Arts Museum in Japan featuring artworks of Japanese and Palauan artists.

Palau’s master carver Ling Inabo will also be holding a workshop in Japan during that time.

Matsutaro said that a Japanese artist and anthropologist, Hisakatsu Hijikata, who came to Palau in the mid-30s when the region was under Japanese administration, introduced storyboards or the art of woodcarving in Palau.

He said during the art exhibition, Hikjikata’s work and that of Palauan carvers will be displayed at the Museum.

Three cooking events in September one in Palau and the other two will be in Japan,  at the Hitachiōmiya and  Zao Town.

Palau will also be releasing a 60-page commemoration book, to highlight the relationship between Palau and Japan for the past 25 years. The book will be distributed during the reception.

In Palau, a commemorative stamp celebrating the friendship will also be unveiled.

The book will feature the history of Palau and Japan’s ties and various programs relating to work done by Japan infrastructure and development, among others. (Bernadette H. Carreon)

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared on the print version on September 17, 2019.