Palau Receives New Patrol Boat From Japanese Foundation

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Small craft to strengthen conservation efforts, emergency response

By Peter Erick Magbanua

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Oct. 3, 2014) – With the aim of promoting maritime development and to help Palau in protecting its maritime resources from illegal poachers, the Nippon Foundation handed over a new patrol boat to the Republic of Palau.

The ceremony was held last October 1, in the celebration of Palau’s 20th Independence Day. The hand over was held at the Imekang Dock in Ngiwal State. The event was attended by The Nippon Foundation executive director Mitsuyuki Unno, President Tommy Remengesau Jr., Vice President Antonio Bells, members of the cabinet, ministers, members of the House of Delegates, members of the Senate led by Senate Vice President Phillip Reklai, traditional leaders of Ngiwal State, Japan Ambassador Kazuhiro Tajiri and members of the Bureau of Public Safety led by its director Ismael Aguon.

"In past Palau has suffered from increased incidents of foreign fishing vessels illegally operating in the area to poach precious marine. Domestically, the dumping of household garbage and illegal disposal of waste from vessels has also polluted the beautiful oceans. With the efforts of the government of Palau and the patrol boat, measures to deal with these issues have seen to progress. As the Nippon Foundation’s continuous cooperation with Palau, it is my pleasure to announce that we are providing a second small patrol craft called ‘Bul’ to protect the ocean. I think the name reflects President Remengesau’s warm consideration for the people of Palau and its ocean," said The Nippon Foundation executive director Mitsuyuki Unno.

He added that small patrol boat "Bul" together with the first small craft patrol boat donated by The Nippon Foundation "Kabekel M’tal" will further strengthen Palau’s conservation efforts and response to emergencies and natural disaster such as like of Typhoon Haiyan.

"It will be a vital help for managing the impact of natural disasters; human rescue operations will be increasing with the rise of tourist divers and it can be useful for Palau’s proactive stance and action for ocean conservation. I also strongly expect that Palau will further promote its partnership with the two other Micronesian countries to establish wider and more comprehensive ocean security and safety," Unno stressed.

On the other hand, President Tommy Remengesau Jr. thank The Nippon Foundation for their donation and assured them that the small patrol boats will be of big help especially as Palau is planning to close its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from commercial fishing .

He stressed that with the new patrol boat, Palau will be able to protect its resources, borders and people not only for Palauans today but also for the future generations to come.

The Nippon Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation established in 1962 for the purpose of carrying out philanthropic activities, using revenue from motorboat racing. The foundation’s overall objectives include assistance for humanitarian activities and global maritime development. Its philanthropic ideals embraces social development and self-sufficiency, and it pursues these principles by working to improve public health, education, alleviate poverty, eliminate hunger and help the disabled.

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