The Ambassador of Japan to Samoa, Shinya Aoki, visited the Samoa Observer’s headquarters yesterday.
Ambassador Aoki met Editor-in-Chief, Gatoaitele Savea Sano and Publisher, Muliaga Jean Malifa, who welcomed him to the Samoa Observer headquarters in Vaitele.
He spoke with Gatoaitele and Muliaga about Japan’s relationship with Samoa over the years, particularly with the presence of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (J.I.C.A.) who established their presence in Samoa around 1973, working closely with the Peace Corps.
Samoa has received more than 650 volunteers since their first mission and overall receives the second largest amount of development aid in the Pacific Islands through J.I.C.A.
Ambassador Aoki spoke about the importance of embracing the culture and traditions in his role as a diplomat.
Last year he was bestowed the chiefly title of Maugaoleatuolo o Fuifatu.
“I’m a diplomat and my basic policy is that I should know the people and the culture and the tradition of the country,” he said.
“Last year in June, I had a Matai title bestowment from Fusi Safotulafai. I showed my wife a picture of the ceremony robe of title bestowment and she was very surprised.
“It is very good for me to understand the people and the culture of Samoa. My general impression is that the people of this country are very kind and the country is safe.”
Ambassador Aoki presented a gift to the Samoa Observer and also promoted the Osaka – Kansai/Japan Expo to be held in 2025.