Japan Raises Typhoon Recovery Funds For Palau

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President welcomes more than $200,000 in support

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Dec. 12, 2013) – Palau’s Ambassador to Japan Francis Matsutaro on December 3 presented a check to President Remengesau to help with the relief and rebuilding efforts from Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the northern communities of Palau in early November.

The donations totaling more than $200,000 were contributions from Japanese community to the Palau Embassy in Tokyo. Also in attendance at the presentation was Palau’s Minister of State, Rev. Billy Kuartei, and the Governor of Peleliu, TemmyShmull.

President Remengesau stated that this "warm and kindhearted support from the Japanese people help to reaffirm Palau and Japan’s special bond that was formed back before WWII and continues today." The President went on to say that the people of Palau are "truly grateful for the contributions from the grassroots citizens of Japan and that the much-needed contributions will help greatly in the recovery effort."

Matsutaro said that after Typhoon Haiyan hit Kayangel and Northern Palau, many phone calls from Japanese people have reached to the Embassy with enquiries on how they can donate money to help the people of Palau. The embassy has set up a special account for donation, and immediately after that, contributions began arriving from all over Japan.

Ambassador Matsutaro also noted that donation ranged from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. What was most surprising is that many even traveled three to four hours to the Embassy just to deliver their donations.

"We very much appreciate all the warm thoughts and words from the Japanese people and I am highly impressed with such a strong support and friendship from all the people in Japan," Ambassador Matsutaro said.

"This sign of support from the grassroots people to the victims struggling to recover from the devastating effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan greatly reaffirms the strong ties Palau has with Japan. On behalf of the people and Government of Palau, especially the people in Kayangel, I wish to express my utmost gratitude to the people of Japan. My government will do everything in our power to facilitate a full recovery of the affected areas and with this heartfelt and sincere donation from our friends in Japan, we are one step closer to that goal," Remengesau said.

The president also stated that although the recovery efforts continue in the Northern states of Palau, the tourist destinations and hotels are all fully operational and visitors are encouraged to travel to Palau as they did before.

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