On July 26, Vice President and Minister of Justice Uduch Sengebau-Senior boarded the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer SHIRANUI at the invitation of Rear Admiral NISHIYAMA Takahiro, Commamder, Escort Flotilla One to participate in a Salute of Honor of Guards, a tour of the ship, a lunch meeting and a courtesy ceremony. This event was also attended by Ambassador ORIKASA Hiroyuki, Vice President of Senate Kerai Mariur, Vice Speaker of House of Delegates Lucio Ngiraiwet, Minister of State Gustav Aitaro, other government officials and local media.
At the courtesy ceremony, Rear Admiral Nishiyama expressed his deepest gratitude to Vice President Sengebau-Senir and the Government of Palau for accepting SHIRANUI’s port visit and its crew into Palau, and also said, “during our visit to Palau, we are looking forward to being able to interact with a lot of people of Palau including children through many activities. We hope that we can continue to hold such events in the future.” Rear Admiral Nishiyama concluded his remarks by saying, “we, JMSDF, will contribute to ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region including Palau as well as maintaining and reinforcing the maritime order in order to realize a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’.”
Ambassador Orikasa also thanked Vice President and her delegation for attending this event on SHIRANUI, and stated, “this goodwill visit of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and exercise between Japan and Palau, which has vast EEZ and geopolitical importance, is considerably important not only for Palau but for the entire Indo-Pacific region.” With security conditions radically changing in the Pacific area, Ambassador Orikasa concluded his remarks by stating, “now is the time to work together toward realizing peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We hope our 200-year-long friendship ever since Jinja Maru arrived at the shore of Palau in 1821 will continue for another 200 years and beyond.”
Vice President Sengebau-Senior welcomed SHIRANUI and its crew in Palau, and appreciated their interaction with the people of Palau as well as the tour of SHIRANUI, informative on board lunch meeting. Vice President Sengebau-Senior stated, “the presence of JMSDF and the Japanese destroyer in Palau signals the strength of bilateral partners in the area of maritime security to ensure a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’.” On behalf of the Government and people of Palau, Vice President Sengebau-Senior showed her sincere gratitude to Japan “for this visit of SHIRANUI to Palau at this critical time.” Through these events, both countries reaffirmed the commitment to continue to promote cooperation toward the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”.