“Must ensure the accountability and transparency to both Japanese and Palauans in the implementation and outcomes of Japan’s ODA projects for at least the next 5 years,” the Japanese Ambassador stressed


On October 13, 2023, His Excellency, ORIKASA Hiroyuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan in Palau, formally handed over equipment to Promote Unexploded Ordnance Disposal. The handover ceremony for “The Project for Procurement of Equipment to Promote Unexploded Ordnance Disposal” took place in Koror and was attended by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Deputy Program Manager Ms. Andrea Borres, Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Industries Safety Officer Mr. Hanson Ngirakesau and others.
The grant, worth a total of US$ 209,081, is the first assistance to NPA from the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Palau. In cooperation with the national and state governments of Palau, NPA has processed approximately 21,000 Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) in Babeldaob and is working in Peleliu and Angaur, where were the fiercest battlefields of World War II with more than 20,000 Japanese and US soldiers were killed or wounded and more than 2,800 tons of bombs dropped on both islands. These ERW pose a threat to the daily lives of local residents and are an obstacle to land and industrial development, including tourism and agriculture, on both islands.
Speaking at the ceremony, NPA representative Ms. Borres said “The acquisition of these assets will enable the NPA effectively reach remote areas, benefiting both the citizens and visitors of Peleliu and Angaur. It will ensure that Palau is no longer adversely affected by ERW. We appreciate the Government of Japan and also all those involved in making this project possible.”
“Although the treatment of ERW takes a long time, I strongly believe that it is our responsibility to continue the disposal of ERW for the present and future generations of Palau and to strengthen the partnership between Japan and Palau. We will continue to monitor the project to ensure that the newly procured items are fully utilized and properly maintained so that such an important on-island ERW treatment project can continue.” Ambassador Orikasa commented.
The Ambassador went on to request the NPA’s continued cooperation with the Japanese human remains collection project in Peleliu and Angaur States, to which the NPA’s Ms. Borres confirmed its cooperation.
The Government of Japan launched GGP in 1999, for the purpose of responding to various development needs engaged in grassroots activities in Palau. As of October 13, 2023, the Embassy has signed 99 grant contracts with schools and hospitals as well as state governments and non-profit organizations. Education, health care and the environment are priority areas for the GGP to contribute to Palau’s sustainable development. Today’s handover ceremony marks the 94th GGP program in Palau.
Ambassador Orikasa stressed that, “In line with our ODA policy that ODA funds come from Japanese taxpayers, the Embassy of Japan must ensure the accountability and transparency to both Japanese and Palauans in the implementation and results, including the GGP projects, for at least the next five years. This is our responsibility.”
For further information on GGP, please contact 488-6455 or visit the Embassy of Japan’s GGP website at https://www.palau.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/about_ggp.html.