Japan and Palau signed a 1.85 million USD grant contract for the border control authority to procure X-ray inspection systems and devices


      On 21 December 2022, President of the Republic of Palau H.E. Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. and Ambassador of Japan Orikasa Hiroyuki signed a grant contract for “The Economic and Social Development Programme (FY2022)”. The signing ceremony was held at the Office of the President in Meyuns, Koror, witnessed by Minister of Finance Hon. Kaleb Udui, Jr., Minister of State Hon. Gustav Aitaro, Post Master General Mr. Santy Asanuma, Director of Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Mr. John Tarkong Jr. and many distinguished guests.
              As Palau is surrounded by the Ocean, all imported goods go through either the airport, the seaport or the post office. Recently in Palau, illegal drugs including methamphetamine and suspicious financial devices have been smuggled into Palau through these three points by foreign travelers, illegal cargos or parcels. These illicit products and activities are clearly harmful for not only public safety, economic development of Palau and daily lives of the people of Palau but also the Rule of Law in Palau. The border control authority of Palau now faces an urgent challenge to improve their capacity to control three border points by effective inspection systems based on the regulations of Palau.
              In light of the urgent situation, the Government of Japan has decided to support the Government of Palau through the grant aid worth 1.85 million USD. Japan will provide 9 types of inspection equipment, including 1) deployable mobile X-ray truck, 2) screening inspection machines for baggage, cargo and parcel and 3) handy scanners for narcotic and explosive products. These non-intrusive inspection systems and devices will be used in the airport, the seaport and the post office, which will enhance the authority’s capacity to detect illegal products and ensure proper collection of customs.
                 At the ceremony, Ambassador Orikasa stated, “In this age of globalization, I am sure that this project will strengthen public safety and economic development of Palau, which will be essential for both Japan and Palau to realize our shared future, that is, Free and Open Indo-Pacific based on the Rule of Law.” President Whipps said, “This is extraordinary time for us to sign this project. It is much needed assistance and important for our shared value and regional security. It will really strengthen our border control and keep our people safe.” Minister Udui congratulated the signing of the contract and expressed his appreciation for Japan’s generous support and strong partnership with Palau.