The FSM and the Japan Association of Maritime Safety sign assistance package MOU
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): January 30, 2012 - A four-member team from the Nippon Foundation of Japan visited the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) from January 25-28, 2012 led by Mr. Takayuki Yamakawa, a retired Rear Admiral of the Japan Coast Guard and Chief Researcher of the Japanese Association of Maritime Safety (JAMS). The other members were Mr. Hiroki Nakamura, Managing Director of Nippon Maritime Center (NMC), Mr. Takashi Sakai, Deputy Managing Director of NMC and Ms. Sanae Takahashi, Researcher of JAMS. The visit was undertaken to begin implementation of the terms of the agreement between the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the Micronesian countries of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia as discussed in various meetings, including the June 23, 2011 meeting where a package of individual assistance was finalized. The overall objective of the assistance from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation is to improve maritime surveillance capability of the three Micronesian States.
In the case of the FSM, the first phase of the project under the assistance package entails provision of a fully equipped 15-meter (about 45ft) patrol boat with a top speed of 30 knots, a maximum capacity of 14-crew, and a range of 400 nautical miles at 20 knots cruising speed. A communication facility will also be provided, along with fuel for ten years in normal operation of the boat as well as for its involvement in maritime exercises, and provision of required trainings and spare parts for the boat.
The visit was the first to have been undertaken by the Nippon Foundation for initial project implementation with the principal aim of reviewing and signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the FSM and the JAMS. The MOU outlines the assistance package and the responsibilities of the FSM when the small patrol craft and the communication facilities are handed over in a turnover ceremony envisioned to be in September. Signing the MOU for the FSM was the Secretary of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure (TC&I), Mr. Francis Itimai, and for the JAMS was Mr. Michio Matsuura, President of Nippon Foundation. With the signing of the MOU, a historical relationship has been struck for the first time between the FSM Government and a Japanese Non-Governmental Organization under the overall umbrella relationship between Sasakawa Peace Foundation and the three Micronesian States.
Discussions on specifications for the patrol boat and the communication facility, administrative and logistical requirements for the turnover ceremony as well as fuel provisioning also took place at the meeting before the visiting group met with the FSM Department of Justice and the Petroleum Corporation.
Secretary Itimai signed the MOU on behalf of the FSM based on earlier designation by President Mori, establishing the Department of TC&I as the focal point for negotiation of the project. However, the recipient of the project is the Department of Justice, Maritime Surveillance Program. The other phases of the project are yet to be discussed.
Involved in the meeting were the lead Department of TC& I through Secretary Francis Itimai and Captain Mathias Mangmog, the Department of Justice in the persons of Commander of Maritime Wing Captain David Marar, Lieutenant Johnny Santos of the National Police Division and Assistant Attorney General Danny Rescue Jr.; the Department of Resources and Development by Assistant Secretary Hubert Yamada and the Department of Foreign Affairs through the Assistant Secretary and Chair of the Meeting, Mr. Kandhi A. Elieisar.
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