Palau’s former State and Education Minister Billy Godfried Kuartei was conferred with Japan’s Spring Imperial Decoration at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center on October 9.
Japan Ambassador to Palau Akira Karasawa handed over to the former State Minister the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun during one of the events for the celebration of Japan and Palau’s 25th anniversary of diplomatic relationship.
The Order of the Rising Sun is bestowed by the Japanese government to individuals who have made distinguished achievements in international relations and had promoted Japanese culture, among others.
In his speech, Kuartei expressed his appreciation to former President Kuniwo Nakamura and President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. for according him government positions that allowed him to contribute in the boosting of ties of the two countries.
It was in 1997 when Palau, under the initiative of then Education Minister Kuartei, entered into an agreement with Japan where the latter agreed to send Japanese volunteers to work in various fields in the country.
Since then, there had been a total of 199 Japanese volunteers, 76 senior volunteers, and 253 Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) experts that were dispatched to Palau to work in various fields, according to former Minister Kuartei.