President Panuelo Extends Appreciation to Retiring Prime Minister Abe for Strengthening the FSM-Japan Kizuna; “When COVID-19 Passes, Join Me in SCUBA Diving in Chuuk” President Panuelo Says in a Statement

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President Panuelo Extends Appreciation to Retiring Prime Minister Abe for Strengthening the FSM-Japan Kizuna; “When COVID-19 Passes, Join Me in SCUBA Diving in Chuuk” President Panuelo Says in a Statement

 

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On September 3rd, 2020, His Excellency David W. Panuelo—President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—sent a letter to the Honorable Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan. The purpose of the letter was to express appreciation to the Prime Minister for strengthening the FSM-Japan Kizuna (special bond), particularly in light of the Prime Minister’s public notice of resignation due to health concerns. The President’s letter can be found here: https://gov.fm/files/September_3_2020_PM_Abe_letter.pdf

 

“Although this news brings a sense of loss in knowing that a great leader is resigning, it is a decision that must have been difficult to make and is made in the interest of your government, your people, and your good self,” President Panuelo wrote in his letter. “As the longest serving Prime Minister in the history of Japan, I want to take this opportunity to commend your efforts and accomplishments during your long tenure for your government and people, especially during this challenging time.”

 

After sending the letter, President Panuelo made the following public statement addressed to the Prime Minister: “My dear friend,” President Panuelo said, “The people of Japan share a Kizuna with the people of Micronesia, and you personally have demonstrated that special bond to myself and the First Lady.”

 

“I understand that you will be resigning in part for your health. While I am not a doctor, my father was—and I believe it is appropriately sound medical advice to suggest that there is nothing better for your health and wellbeing than to visit the Federated States of Micronesia and experience our island hospitality. When COVID-19 passes, you are welcome to join me in a SCUBA diving tour in either Chuuk, Pohnpei, Yap, and/or Kosrae as my personal guest. We can celebrate your retirement in a way that continues to strengthen the FSM-Japan Kizuna while promoting our nations’ mutual commitments towards good environmental stewardship.”

 

“I was hesitant to say all this in a formal Government communication, because sometimes those can be so official,” President Panuelo continued. “I think it’s best if I simply say this from my heart: you’re an exemplary public servant who has steered Japan towards prosperity, and who has shown incredible kindness not only to me, but also to former Presidents Peter M. Christian and Manny Mori, our delegations and staff. We are all so grateful to you and to the people of Japan for everything you’ve done to promote peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity. Your development projects in our Nation, from the expansion of ports to the building of gymnasiums, to road paving and the donation of field trip vessels, to teaching mathematics in our schools and film festivals showing your culture are only a few examples of your esteemed service to our Nation and people. The very least we can do in return is to give you the retirement trip of a lifetime.”

 

“Whatever happens next, my friend, thanks in large part due to your service, the People and Government of Micronesia will always see Japan as an incredibly special friend, ally, and development partner. The next time we shake hands, I hope it’s right before we’re about to explore the best diving spots in the World right here in the FSM.”


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