JAPAN MOURNS LIVES LOST IN CHUUK

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By Delihna I. Manuel

KOLONIA, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (July 25 – August 7, 2002 – The Kaselehlie Press)---Mr. Hyosuke Yasui, Japanese Chargé d’Affaires to the FSM, located in Kolonia, has expressed Japan’s heartfelt condolences and sympathies for the State and people of Chuuk, who are suffering from the effects of Tropical Storm Chata‘an

The storm struck the State of Chuuk July 1 - 2, 2002, taking 47 lives and causing extensive damage.

The government of Japan has extended emergency assistance to the FSM government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The donated goods are equivalent to about $84,000 worth of supplies.

The emergency assistance was provided -- in response to a request for emergency aid from the FSM government -- because of the serious situation in Chuuk and the friendly relations between the FSM and Japan.

Yasui personally handed over the emergency supplies to the State of Chuuk. He also inspected the damages. He hopes that the donated goods will help the people of Chuuk and help compensate for the damages and losses they have undergone.

Yasui, who has been on Pohnpei for about four months, also said that the Japanese government has also supported a variety of FSM government projects. One is the construction of Dekehtik Harbor, Pohnpei, which was then turned over to Pohnpei State administration.

The largest activities pertain to the Economic Technical Corporation.

The Corporation trains local people in such fields as agriculture, fisheries, construction, and communication. Japan has provided four senior trainers and economic advisors to the FSM.

As part of the project, last year, the Japanese government sponsored 90 FSM workers, sending them to Japan for various kinds of technical training.

"We train these people so that when they have acquired the skills, they will not only apply it to their own advantage, but to the other FSM States as well," said Yasui.

When asked about the current relationship between the Japanese and the FSM governments, Yasui said that there are no current pending issues or hardships between the two governments. He wants to continue to promote friendship between the governments. He said he has not been around long enough to comment on the political and social perspectives but he hopes to learn more about the FSM and its people in the coming months.

"My term here in Pohnpei is not set at a certain timeframe but I am hoping I do not disappoint the people of FSM," stated Yasui.

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