The New Year Cocktail Reception (Gashi-Kokan-Kai)



On January 21, 2024, the Embassy of Japan hosted the New Year Cocktail Reception (Gashi-Kokan-Kai) at Palau Royal Resort as a kick-off event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau. “Gashi-Kokan-Kai” means a gathering to exchange New Year greetings in Japanese.
Ambassador ORIKASA Hiroyuki and Mrs. ORIKASA Pauline welcomed many guests including Honorable Charles I. Obichang, Minister of Public Infrastructure and Industries, attending on behalf of His Excellency President Surangel Whipps Jr., traditional leaders, Senators, Delegates, Ministers, Governors, Japanese residents in Palau, and many more.
The reception began with the remarks delivered by Ambassador Orikasa and Minister Obichang, followed by a presentation on the concept of the 30th anniversary logo given by its creator, Ms. Lynette Franz. As Mrs. Kyoko Emesiochel, the President of Japan Club proposed a toast, all in attendance raised their glasses to celebrate the occasion.
During the reception, Ms. SAKUMA Hiroko, a singer-songwriter from Japan, wowed the audience with beloved enka tunes and other popular Japanese songs. Attendees also welcomed the surprise announcement from Ambassador Orikasa conveying the news that Ms. Sakuma was appointed by President Whipps as Palau’s Goodwill Ambassador. It is hoped that Ms. Sakuma, with this new role, will help further promote Japan-Palau friendship through her radio network covering 66 program networks in Japan and through her Eco Paradise FM Radio programs in Palau.
To close the reception, Mr. Francisco M. Ueki, Jr., son of former Ambassador of Palau to Japan, gave his remarks, highlighting the significance of this year to bring bilateral relations even closer for future generations.
The Embassy of Japan hopes that the friendship between Japan and Palau continues to grow through closer interactions between peoples of both countries.