His Excellency Hisashi Michigami, Ambassador of Japan to the FSM, Presents Credentials to His Excellency David W. Panuelo; President Panuelo Commits to Strengthening FSM-Japan Kizuna

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On December 15th, 2021, His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), received His Excellency Hisashi Michigami, the newly accredited Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of Japan to the FSM. After the Presentation of Credentials ceremony, the President and the Ambassador exchanged brief remarks and then engaged in a discussion on matters of mutual interest and import.

In his formal statement after presenting his credentials, Ambassador Michigami passed on His Majesty, the Emperor’s greetings, regards, and hopes for friendly and cooperative relations between the FSM and Japan. Ambassador Michigami described his keen interest to make a modest contribution to the FSM’s development and solicited the FSM National Government’s close cooperation and advice in order to ensure such a contribution is as beneficial as possible.

In his formal statement following the Ambassador’s, President Panuelo requested that the Ambassador relay his best wishes for His Majesty, the Emperor’s good health, his best wishes for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his good health, and the good health and longevity of both the People and Nation of Japan.

The President described that the FSM and Japan have nearly reached 34 years of formal diplomatic relations, and have more than 100 years of traditional relations. The President described the Nation’s deep and sincere appreciation for historical, ongoing, and forthcoming Japanese development assistance to the FSM, such as the work of the Japan International Cooperation Association (JICA) and their Volunteers; the FY2020 Economic & Social Development program, resulting in support to the Fisheries & Maritime Institute in Yap State, medical equipment, and the purchasing of fuel; people-to-people cultural and cooperative exchanges, including scholarship programs; and the outcomes of the PALM-9 Summit wherein the President requested, and the FSM has since received, a JMAS team working in Chuuk State with the goal of tackling oil leaks.

Additionally, President Panuelo highlighted the Nation’s keen interest in forthcoming assistance from Japan, such as four small patrol boats (one each for the State of Yap, the State of Chuuk, the State of Pohnpei, and the State of Kosrae) to augment the receipt of Guardian-class vessels from Australia; the expansion of Pohnpei State’s commercial and fisheries dock; a replacement vessel for the MV Caroline Voyager; and water system upgrades.

President Panuelo emphasized that the FSM is committed to a Free & Open Indo-Pacific and the Indo-Pacific Strategy, and spoke at length of the Nation’s immense gratitude for the recent announcement of Japan’s, Australia’s, and the United States’ assistance to fund a fiber optic cable that will ultimately improve internet accessibility and speed in the FSM State of Kosrae, the Republic of Kiribati, and the Republic of Nauru. The President reiterated that the FSM remains committed to expanding the United Nations Security Council as a larger part of the United Nations’ reforms, and further that it is the view of the FSM that Japan must become a permanent member of such an expanded United Nations Security Council.

Following their formal remarks, President Panuelo and Ambassador Michigami engaged in a private discussion with topics ranging from an analysis of important events across the Indo-Pacific over the course of 2021 to a discussion on generating cooperation amongst the Nation’s friends, allies, and development partners. Regarding the latter, President Panuelo extensively probed the Ambassador’s previous experience as the Secretary-General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (where promotes cooperation between Japan, the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea).

President Panuelo shared with Ambassador Michigami, and later remarked to his Cabinet—and requested public release thereof—of his appreciation for Ambassador Michigami’s, and Deputy Chief of Mission Kentaro Mizuuchi’s, deep humility and polished demeanor, professional background, and interest in strengthening the FSM-Japan Kizuna.

The FSM National Government is enthusiastic to partner with Ambassador Michigami and the People and Government of Japan in strengthening the FSM-Japan Kizuna, or Special Bond, to new heights.