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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (October 15, 2000 - Marianas Variety/PINA Nius Online)---The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Museum of History and Culture has opened an exhibit on Japan's contribution to island customs and traditions.

Hundreds of guests as well as CNMI and Japan officials led by Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio and Consul Kiyoshi Sakaida, graced the opening of the "Japan in the Marianas: The Prosperous Years 1914 - 1941" exhibit. It will run until May 2001

Tenorio said the Japanese influence on the islands’ economy did not stop when World War II ended. Tenorio said the "Japanese Spirit" remains in the Northern Marianas since its economy relies heavily on tourists from Japan. He added that cooperative relationship with Japan should continue.

"Indeed the Japanese era was a time for prosperity in business, education, health and family life as depicted by the artifacts and historical items on display here. As this exhibit take us back in time, we cannot help but realize that the influence is still alive today as seen in much of our local language and custom," Tenorio said.

Sakaida said he hopes the exhibit will help educate the students on the islands' history.

The Japan in the Marianas exhibit features picture and the reconstruction of a confectionery store and a miniature vintage locomotive.

Oberg acknowledged the support and cooperation of many Japanese nationals and the local community in putting up the exhibit.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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