President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. along with a delegation of ministers and members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau met with the Japan-Palau Parliamentary Friendship League this past week. A major point of discussion was promoting the economic programs and peopleto-people exchanges that benefit both nations.

A strong relationship between the Republic of Palau and Japan promotes the economies and safety of both nations, Mr. Yohei Sasakawa said during meetings in Japan with President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. 

Sasakawa, who is the honorary chairman of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and chairman of sister organization Nippon Foundation, said he’s made note of these observations to officials in the Japan government. Chairman Sasakawa is an honorary Palauan citizen and has been a close friend of Palau for many years. He expressed that he, along with many others, want to continue to develop that partnership. 

The Chairman said Palau is strategic to Japan’s security, particularly with the geopolitical tensions in the region. A partnership between Palau and Japan can help maintain peace, which supports the two countries and their allies in the region as well. 

President Whipps shared his appreciation for Chairman Sasakawa’s assistance and support. He noted that among the objectives of the trip to Japan is to promote direct flights between the two nations to revitalize Palau’s tourism industry and expand on the people-to-people exchanges. 

The President said JICA seems to be getting a better understanding of Palau’s economic situation. The President also is looking forward to additional discussions where Palau and Japan could further support one another. 

President Whipps further shared this point during a separate meeting with members of the National Diet, specifically members of the Japan-Palau Parliamentary Friendship League.

Chairman Hakubun Shimomura also said the partnership between Palau and Japan brings stability to the region. 

Chairman Shimomura and Chief Advisor Seshiro Eto also called upon President Whipps for additional consideration of Japanese fishermen.  Specifically, Advisor Eto asked to expand Japan’s fishing rights.

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