April 21, 2006

The Kaselehlie Press

Palikir, POHNPEI: April 21, 2006 - Ambassador Masashi Namekawa has been accredited as the representative of the Government of Japan to the Federated States of Micronesia.

During a ceremony on April 19 2006, President Joseph J. Urusemal accepted the credentials of Ambassador Namekawa as the successor of Japan's former representative to the FSM, Ambassador Kenro Iino.

Ambassador Namekawa is Japan's sixth representative to the FSM since the official establishment of diplomatic ties on August 5, 1988.

The Ambassador extended salutations from His Majesty Akihito - the Emperor of Japan, and His Majesty's best wishes for prosperity of the FSM. He further conveyed the Emperor's desires for "further promotion of the friendly relations which so happily exist" between the two nations.

President Urusemal reciprocated with his "heartfelt greetings and best wishes to their majesties for their good health and for the continued well-being and prosperity of the people of Japan."

The President said Ambassador Namekawa's accreditation signifies the "profound relationship that continues to exist between [the two] countries." He observed that the value and importance of the relationship is further emphasized by "the long-standing bond of friendship and cooperation between our two countries has evolved and stood the test of time."

While ties were officially established in the late 1980s', the relationship between the two nations was however, fostered many years prior.

President Urusemal expressed his confidence that "with a spirit of friendship, cooperation and sincere commitment and respect, the working partnership will be even strengthened as we strive to achieve our common goals."

He extended appreciation for the important role Japan had, through its resident programs, played in the economic and social development of the FSM. These assistances from Japan are of "pivotal importance as the FSM faces the challenges of development," said the President.

The President referenced the multilateral scene as the platform where both nations recognize various challenges beyond their national boundaries - challenges which include issues of environment, climate change, human rights and terrorism, among many others.

He said the global issues require closer cooperation, for which FSM gladly works "with Japan and many other countries at the United Nations on global measures to meet these challenges."

To which the President expressed to Ambassador Namekawa his wishes to "continue working closely with you and your esteemed government to further build on yet another historic step taken today between our two countries."

Ambassador Namekawa is an Economics graduate from Japan's Hitutsubashi University with extensive background in Economics. He held various top posts in Japan's Economic Planning Agency (EPA) and was dispatched to Thailand as an expert for long-term Economic Development. From there he continued in a variety of positions in Japan's EPA until January 2001 when he became the Deputy Director-General of Economic Cooperation Bureau under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In mid 2003, Namekawa held the position of Cabinet Counsellor under the Director for Structural Reform-Special Area Promotion. In 2006, he succeeded former Ambassador Iino to become the sixth representative of the Government of Japan to the FSM. Ambassador Namekawa is based at the Embassy of Japan in Suva, Fiji.