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FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (January 11, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---Japan is providing about US$ 8.6 million to build an inter-island vessel for Tuvalu.

Notes for the project were signed and exchanged in Funafuti between Tuvalu's Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lagitupu Tuilimu, and the Charge d'Affaires of the Japanese Embassy in Suva, Akira Goto.

An embassy statement said the new passenger and cargo ship will supplement the existing services provided by the Tuvalu government's Nivaga II.

The new ship will be assigned to providing regular services from Funafuti to Tuvalu’s outer islands while the Nivaga II will be used primarily for services between Tuvalu and Fiji.

The new 46.5-meter (153.45-foot) vessel will carry a complement of 102 persons including 18 crew, 4 cadets and 80 passengers. It will have a maximum speed of 13.5 knots.

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

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