Peleliu state continued to celebrate the historic visit of Japan Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to Palau, four years after the royal couple set foot on the nation in 2015.

Peleliu state governor Temmy Shmull, in an interview with Island Times, said that they had a small gathering on Sunday, April 7, that was attended by national and state leaders, Japanese and Taiwan diplomats, and visitors from outside Palau.

The commemoration of the emperor’s visit had been lavishly conducted in the past three years after the royal couple’s visit to Palau but this year, the Governor said they had decided to keep it simple and just conduct a grand celebration every once in a while.

Governor Shmull said that they had conducted a Fishing Derby for adults, a feast, fun games for the children like Junior Anglers Fishing competition, and volleyball among many others.

Four Blue Marlin fish, the biggest of which weighed more than 400 pounds, caught by the participants of the Fishing Derby were also later distributed among elders and school children.

The Ministry of Health also conducted a community outreach through free medical checkup of the elder lies in Peleliu.

“It’s a very special day and we would like to continue to commemorate this very important day to help continue to strengthen the good relationship between Palau and Japan and also the specific memory of their [Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko] visit to the state of Peleliu,” Governor Shmull said.

The royal couple had visited Palau for the first time last April 9, 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2 and at the same time pay tribute to all the soldiers who perished in the war.

During World War 2, over 12,000 Japanese soldiers and 1,700 Americans perished in a two-month fight in 1944 on the Peleliu island. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)