The President and First Lady attended various meetings with the Hokkaido Government to discuss the creation of “people to people” exchange programs between Palau and Hokkaido, and its city of Sapporo. The creation of such program results from the commitments made during the recent Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 7) to accelerate exchange among younger generations of the two countries.
President Remengesau and leaders of the prefecture agreed to begin efforts by creating partnerships between learning institutions in Palau and Hokkaido and establish student exchange programs where students study abroad at partner institutions. Another program discussed for development was a cultural exchange program aimed to give opportunities for Hokkaido residents and Palau residents to gain deeper understanding of each other’s cultures.
Upon returning, President Remengesau instructed his Cabinet to begin developing the programs with the appropriate institutions so that the programs may be implemented early 2017. “These programs will have a direct positive impact not only for Palau’s tourism from Japan but will be of great support for participants in personal growth, understanding different cultures, and understanding the value of good international relationships.” says President Remengesau.
In Hokkaido, the President met with students from Sapporo High School, Hokkaigakuen University; the Governor of Hokkaido, Ms. Harumi Takahashi and Hokkaido Legislature Speaker, Mr. Ren Endo; the members of the Palau Friendship Group of the Hokkaido Legislative Assembly; members of the Pacific Islands Exchange Association; the Mayor of the City of Sapporo, Mr. Katsuhiro Akimoto; and the Speaker of the Sapporo City Council.
During the Japanese Administration in Palau, over 3000 natives of Hokkaido lived in Palau. Palau is expecting a visit of 40 leaders from Hokkaido in April 2017 for a commemoration event of Their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and Empress’ visit to Palau in April 2015. [/restrict]