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By Agnes M. Abrau

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, May 5) — The Palau Association of Japanese Government Scholars was launched with the signing of its bylaws by members and the Embassy of Japan’s chargé d’affaires Naotake Yamashita.

The organization has three objectives: to promote Japanese government scholarships; build a network of information regarding job opportunities, further education and training opportunities; and to foster cross cultural relationships between Japan and Palau.

Members of the association are recipients of Japanese government scholarships since they became available to Palau in 1982.

So far, 57 Palauans have already received these scholarships, the Japanese embassy said.

The officers of the new group are Masao Udui, president; Carlisa N. Ngedebuu, vice president; Deidre Yamaguchi, secretary; Ngiraibelas Tmetuchl, treasurer; Takashi Mita, adviser; Bernie Ngiralmau, liaison/public relations officer; Lisa Abraham and Frolly Ann Bultedaob, members.

Ngedebuu said the group plans to work along with the Japanese embassy, particularly in the implementation of education programs.

"I’d like to see other members to be involved in the Japanese language fair as well as the cultural exchange activities that will help Palauan students who go to Japan. We’d like to share that experience to the younger generation," Ngedebuu said.

Takashi Mita, the group’s adviser, said: "I’m very glad to see this group finally formed. It’s a nice day to see this signing."

Besides raising awareness regarding Japanese scholarships, the group also wants to promote the Japanese language and culture.

The group intends to visit schools, sponsor events, activities, scholarship fairs and cultural festivals.

"Additionally, the members plan to assist new graduates of the scholarship programs in finding jobs in Palau that best suit their knowledge and skills so they may best serve the community as well," the embassy said.

May 5, 2006

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