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By Al Hulsen

HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (March 18, 2000 – PIDP/CPIS)---The Pacific Islands
Development Program (PIDP) at Hawaii’s East-West Center was presented with a
check for $357,000 from the government of Japan Friday night for use "in
its research and development projects" on behalf of the Pacific Islands

Japan’s Consul General Gotaro Ogawa made the presentation during a gala event at Waikiki’s Hawaii Prince Hotel -- "An International Affair" -- celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of the East-West Center in 1960.

Ogawa, during a brief ceremony, handed the check over to Fiji President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, representing the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders and a member of the East-West Center Board of Governors. Also on stage to accept the gift from Japan were former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi, board chairman, and Dr. Charles Morrison, president of the East-West Center.

Consul General Ogawa said it was his "pleasure to pay tribute to the East-West Center, under the able leadership of Dr. Morrison, for their efforts in building a broader Asia Pacific community in which the nations have promoted economic growth and lasting peace and stability for the peoples of this region."

He said Japan "has continuously been supporting such valuable efforts through contributions to the Pacific Islands Development Program."

Last year, Japan made a similar contribution to PIDP, in the amount of $363,000.

As part of its work, PIDP serves as secretariat for the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, representing 20 countries, territories and states. The regional organization’s Standing Committee met in Honolulu Thursday and Friday to consider such matters as development of a strategic plan for PIDP, including recommendations on economic and social development work that it should perform on behalf of the Pacific community during the next ten years.

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