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PALIKIR, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (May 25, 2001 - FSM Information Services)---In a brief Exchange of Notes Ceremony on May 22, 2001, the governments of the Federated States of Micronesia and Japan signed the second phase of the Yap road project.

Secretary Ieske K. Iehsi of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Charge d’ Affairs ad interim Takenori Yamazaki, on behalf of the two governments, signed the agreement for the project: Road Improvement of the State of Yap.

The government of Japan has made available to the FSM a grant of up to ¥855,000,000 (US$ 7,089,552) for execution and implementation of the project. The funding will be made available in two terms: ¥220,000,000 (US$ 1,824,212) will be available by March 31, 2002, and the remaining ¥635,000,000 (US$ 5,265,340) will be available by March 31, 2003.

The government of Japan has continuously, over time, been the major Asian country providing substantial direct involvement in the FSM’s development. Of historical significance, according to Secretary Iehsi, is that Japan has the longest record of "sustained constructive commercial relations with Micronesia."

Iehsi said that the FSM is ready for the implementation phase of the project, stating that the road project will "certainly contribute tremendously to the increased movement of people and transportation of goods and services in Yap."

The statement was echoed by Chargé Yamazaki who said that upon its completion "the much improved road will be an immense contribution to the FSM, Yap State in particular, in areas of infrastructure and economy."

The project, according to Yamazaki, is also "consistent and supportive of the State of Yap’s development objectives and the FSM’s National building efforts."

Both governments expressed their mutual understanding and promotion of relations with each other and agreed to further strengthen the existing friendly and cooperative relationship between the two.

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