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The Federated States of Micronesia has been invited by Japan to request grant funds for tourism infrastructure improvements, including airport expansion.

During this month's Second Japan-FSM Roundtable Talks in Tokyo, FSM Secretary of External Affairs Asterio Takesy was encouraged by Japan's Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda to submit funding proposals that would permit one of the FSM airports to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft. The funds would be used to rebuild and lengthen the chosen airport's runway and to make terminal improvements.

The goal of the aid project would be to improve FSM earnings from tourism.

Expected to vigorously compete for the Japanese funding are the airports serving the states of Pohnpei and Chuuk. Pohnpei offers tourists the ruins of Nan Madol, while Chuuk contains the remains of dozens of World War Two ships and planes in a lagoon popular with divers.

Other matters discussed during the Tokyo talks included the further development of cooperative fisheries and agricultural activities. It was noted that a Japanese company now is cultivating Pohnpei pepper in the FSM for export to Japan.

The third series of FSM-Japan Roundtable Talks is tentatively scheduled to take place early next December.



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