University of Hull Students interview President Mori
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): November 19, 2010 - In the late afternoon of November 17, President Mori had an interview with Tom Sedgwick and Ravi Mistry of JamRadio of the University of Hull in the UK.
Sedgwick and Mistry have been interviewing world leaders throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific region, with the goal of connecting the University of Hull and its students with people from across the world, promoting a better understanding of different cultures.
In their first question, the students were eager to find out how President Mori's extensive experience in banking was affecting the way in which he carried out his job as President of a Nation. Mori explained that his background certainly gave him a good understanding of the country's economy, and on a personal level, it had taught him to be very result-oriented. "My past experience has been very beneficial and I am very grateful for it," said Mori.
The students then sought to get a better understanding of FSM's relationship with the United States. President Mori underscored that the US is the FSM's primary partner and friend, providing the FSM with more than $100 million annually, as well as taking care of the country's security and defense needs.
They were also curious about FSM's relationship with Japan. Here, the President emphasized that Japan was certainly part of the Pacific region family and in FSM many residents, including himself, had direct blood relations with Japanese citizens as a result of the Japanese occupation in the past. He highlighted that FSM also had a very friendly relationship with Japan, receiving significant financial assistance from the Japanese Government. Mori added that FSM sees Japan as a great source for FSM's tourism potential.
When asked what were the difficulties of governing a nation made up of more than 600 islands, Mori responded with a question of his own: "do you own a plane or an airline?" he asked, "because we need help to service our islands!" Joking aside, he explained that most of the inter-island transportation needs were performed via sea-transportation, and that even though each of the four FSM States were distinctly different in culture, they were all bound by the ocean. "All FSM citizens are peaceful people," he said, "all sharing life in a tropical environment."
Mori further elaborated that all Pacific Island countries collaborate through various alliances in order to address issues which impact them all, the biggest current issue being climate change. Mori said that it is only through such alliances that Pacific Island countries can negotiate with big industrialized countries on topics such as climate change.
In closing, President Mori affirmed his belief, as long as his administration continues to work hard, that the FSM has a bright future; he gave prominence to two areas in which the country had leverage: one being fisheries, and the other being the huge potential of the country's eco-tourism.
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