The Embassy of Japan Held its First Official Press Tour in Palau

On December 13, 2022, the Embassy of Japan held an Official Press Tour of Japan’s Development Cooperation Projects for local media in Palau, attended by 6 journalists from 5 newspaper and radio/television organizations. The Embassy hosted this first press tour in cooperation with JICA Palau office, the Government of Palau and partner institutions. The main goal of this tour is to share tangible outcomes of Japan’s cooperation projects in Palau and further strengthen the tokubetsu relations between the two countries.

1. Fisheries: At the Belau Offshore Fisheries Inc. (BOFI) in Koror, the participating members of media learned about the Grassroots Grant Project for a Pole-and-line Vessel and JICA Technical Cooperation Project for Blue Economy. After touring a skipjack fishing boat provided by the Japanese government, the participants were greeted by Mr. Nariaki Mikuni, JICA experts and Mr. Okada Techitong, the Chairman of BOFI. Followed by a presentation by project officials, tuna-tasting samples were offered. It was explained that the provision of the vessel and the Blue Economy Model would directly benefit offshore fishermen in Palau as well as the processing, distribution, and retailers of the fish catch by improving their income, and that the project is expected to establish a sustainable offshore fishing industry in the future.
Touring the BOFI-MARU vessel                                                                     Presentation by BOFI            
2. Education: At Meyuns Elementary School, Mr. Raynold Mechol, Director of the Ministry of Education and Ms. Sarah Sugiyama, the principal of Meyuns Elementary School explained the projects, the Grassroots Grant Project for Reconstruction of the School Cafeteria and JICA Overseas Volunteers for Primary School Education and Food Service Program. 
A JICA volunteer teaching a class


3. Medical Care: At the Belau National Hospital, the participants visited the site of JICA Technical Cooperation Project for the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) facility, the Grassroots Grant Project for ICU monitors and the Economic and Social Development Programme for Medical Equipment. Following the site visits, Minister Uherbelau Gaafar of Ministry of Health and Human Services and Director Ngirachisau Mekoll joined the tour and gave a presentation on the progress of each project.
 Tour of the ICU facility construction site                                             Director Mekoll giving a presentation
4. Stamp Unveiling Ceremony: A ceremony was held at the Palau Post Office to unveil a new stamp commemoration the Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge 20th Anniversary and the 25th JICA Anniversary. The ceremony was attended by President Surangel Whipps Jr. and Mr. Santy Asanuma, Post Master General.
Stamp Unveiling Ceremony

5. Industrial Waste Management: The participants visited the Koror State Recycling Center to learn about JICA Grassroots Technical Cooperation Project for Belau Eco Glass Center. Mr. Katsuo Fuji, a long-time consultant at the Center, explained the process of sustainable recycling, and then the group toured the studio where glass products are being manufactured.
Mr. Fuji's presentation
During tour, the Embassy received many positive comments from the participants, "This was the first opportunity for us to visit the actual sites where the projects are being implemented and hear explanations about the projects directly from each organization. It was very meaningful,” said one of the participating journalists.The understanding on Japan's development cooperation projects among the people of Palau has been further deepened through the coverage of development cooperation projects in newspapers, radio, and television, which were seen by the citizen of Palau.