Relations between Japan-Samoa strong

Prime Minister Dr. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has described relations between Samoa and Japan as strong and cordial and continues to strengthen.

Speaking at the Taumeasina Island Resort, where Government leaders, members of the diplomatic community and invited guests gathered to mark the 85th birthday of Japan’s emperor Akihito, the Prime Minister said Samoa continues to benefit from Japan’s development cooperation.

“Samoa continues to benefit significantly through development cooperation programmes in a range of key sectors but mainly in transport and infrastructure, human resource development and disaster risk management. 

“This year we have seen the completion of the Extension of the Apia Port project and the ongoing construction of the Vaisigano Bridge as well as the Pacific Climate Change Centre at SPREP headquarters. 

“I wish to make special mention of Japan’s Grant assistance for Grassroots-Human Security Programme focusing on community development,” he said.

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Ambassador Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki welcomed the guests and thanked them for joining him to celebrate the birthday of Japan’s emperor. 

The emperor’s birthday falls on December 23 but it was brought forward to ensure it did not clash with Christmas, added Maugaoleatuolo. 

He then used the occasion to advise the guests that Japan’s emperor will abdicate the throne in April next year due to old age and failing health, which will see his son Crown Prince Naruhito succeed him a month later. 

This is our last year to celebrate emperor Akihito’s birthday in November,” he said. 

Some of the highlights in the Japan-Samoa bilateral relationship include Tuilaepa co-chairing the PALM 8 Summit in May this year, and the official visit of the Prime Minister to Japan. 

“The official visit is the highest invitation from the government of Japan to which the first ever for the Honorable Prime Minister to attend,” added Maugaoleatuolo. 

“Included in the seamless schedule of activities during the official visit, was the conferment of the ‘Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun’ by His Majesty the Emperor to Honorable Prime Minister Tuilaepa, who has contributed 20 years of his service as Prime Minister to strengthening the relationship between Japan and Samoa. The Order of the Rising Sun is the highest Order in Japan.”

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