FSM-JAPAN TIES STRENGTHEN DURING PRESIDENT FALCAM’S MEETING WITH JAPAN PM

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KOIZUMI

PALIKIR, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (February 1, 2002 - FSM Information Services)---President Leo A. Falcam and the First Lady, accompanied by a delegation of FSM officials, visited Japan from January 22 to 29, 2002.

The visit was intended to further strengthen the long-standing bonds of friendship and cooperation between FSM and Japan, especially with the new leadership of the Government of Japan.

The President and his delegation also visited Okinawa, where they attended a "Change of Command" ceremony involving the President’s son, Lieutenant Colonel Leo A. Falcam Jr.

During their stay in Japan, the President and his delegation held meetings with the Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, members of the Japan/FSM Parliamentarian Friendship League, Commanding General of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarter in Okinawa, Lieutenant General Wallace C. Gregson and the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Headquarters, Major General James E. Cartwright.

The meeting with Prime Minister Koizumi, held at his official residence, was the first between the two leaders since Koizumi took over from Mori last year.

Mori also attended the meeting, in which they expressed the importance of the working partnership between FSM and Japan on regional and international issues of mutual interest to both countries, including economic cooperation and environment matters.

Mori also stressed the importance of both countries working together in implementing the objectives set in the Miyazaki Declaration, which was adopted by the Japan/Forum Leaders (PALM 2000) meeting held in Japan two years ago.

In a separate meeting with Mori and member of the Japan/FSM Parliamentarian Friendship League, Mori reiterated his commitment to working closely with President Falcam in promoting friendly ties between Japan and FSM. He has arranged for the Government of Japan to host a symposium on Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Micronesia, which will be held March 24-28, 2002 with participants from FSM.

Mori also arranged for a Youth Exchange Program that will be implemented this summer. The program will permit the exchange of students from both countries.

President Falcam took the opportunity to invite parliament members to visit the FSM.

The President’s delegation included the First Lady, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ieske K. Iehsi, Deputy Assistant Secretary Carl D. Apis, PIO Eliesar Rospel, and Marilyn P. Jack, Secretary to the President.

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