Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Nena Attends Leaders Summit in Tokyo

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): November 6, 1997 - President Jacob Nena attended in Tokyo a South Pacific Forum (SPF) and Japan Leaders Economic Summit Meeting held from 13-14 October, 1997. This was the first time that such a summit meeting was held, upon the initiative of the Japanese Government, to enable leaders of the SPF member countries and Japan to exchange ideas on how Japan may effectively assist the Forum island countries in their economic and development endeavors and goals of attaining self-sustaining economies, according to an October 16, 1997, release from the FSM Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan is a dialogue member of the South Pacific Forum. Its leadership in convoking the leaders summit reflects its increasing role and importance in the Forum region. For most of the Pacific island states, Japan is either the largest or the second largest donor country. Excepting the US, with which the FSM has a Compact treaty, Japan is the FM's largest source of external assistance.

The President's delegation to the summit was comprised of Secretary of External Affairs Epel K. Ilon, Secretary of Resource and Development Sebastian Anefal, as well as Governor Vincent Figir of Yap, who was accompanied by Mr. Jesse Raglmar-SUBOLMAR as senior advisor. Also joining the delegation were the Charge d'Affaires ad interim of the FSM Embassy in Tokyo, James Naich, and First Secretary John S. Fritz.

At the summit meeting, which was chaired by the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Nena reported on the economic reforms undertaken by the FSM Government, stating that "[...] the collective political leadership of our country, including [...] our private sector and traditional leadership community, accepted the truth of the condition of our economy and the need for reform." Seeking "Japan's continuing cooperation in the development of the Pacific islands toward greater self-reliance in the future," President Nena concluded his statement by noting that "[...] it is in the spirit of regional cooperation that we come to this summit - to cooperate with our friends, neighbors, and partners in development in addressing the challenges that are common to us in the Forum island countries."

The FSM delegation also presented a statement on FSM's fisheries conservation and management policy. In that statement the President pointed out that the basic philosophy of the FSM policy on development and management of its marine resources was set forth in the preamble of Title 24 of the FSM Code. The preamble states in part: "The resources of the sea around the FSM are a finite but renewable part of the physical heritage of our people. ...The resources must be managed, conserved, and developed for the benefit of the people living today and for generations of our citizens to come. For this reason the harvesting of this resource... must be monitored, and when necessary controlled. The purpose... is to promote conservation, management, and development of the marine resources... generate the maximum benefit for the nation from foreign fishing, and to promote the development of a domestic fishing industry."

Aside from the program of the summit meeting, the President accompanied by First Lady Lerina Nena, participated in the christening ceremonies of the FSS Caroline Voyager. The FSS Caroline Voyager is funded by the Government of Japan under its aid assistance to the FSM Government. The President assured the Government of Japan and all others participating in the construction of the vessel that the Caroline Japan Voyager "[...] will play an important role in our overall economic development."

As part of the summit meeting, the delegates from the Forum countries also toured the Pacific Island Center, an office that was established a year ago. The PIC is co-financed by the Forum Secretariat and the Japanese Government with the objective of promoting trade from the Forum island countries to Japan and expansion of Japanese tourism and investment in Forum island member countries.

While in Tokyo, the President and his colleagues from the Forum countries were invited to an afternoon tea with His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. President Nena and members of his delegation were also taken on a tour of the fish auction, held at the crack of dawn, at the Tsukuji Market, the largest fish market in the world. Fish caught in the FSM are also sold at the internationally renown fish market, the release concluded.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356