Ambassador Horie hosts a celebration of the birthday of the Emperor of Japan


 By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 17, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—The rain that poured in torrents as guests arrived failed to dampen their spirits as they gathered for an early celebration of Emperor Akihito’s 83rd birthday, a national holiday of Japan. The Emperor’s birthday is not until December 23, but Japan’s Ambassador Ryoichi Horie told his guests that he wanted to be certain that there was a chance to celebrate the FSM’s relationship with all of the upcoming holidays and other events.
He congratulated the FSM on its 30th Anniversary of independence and reminded the guests that though for all but two of those years, the FSM and Japan have had formal diplomatic relations, Japan and what became the FSM have had relations for over 100 years. The first generation of Japanese immigrants came to Chuuk and other islands of Micronesia at the end of the 19th century. He said that one survey shows that about 20 percent of the total current population of the FSM has ancestors from Japan and named several notable Micronesians, including the nation’s first President Tosiwo Nakayama, Susumu Aizawa, a Chuukese professional baseball player in Japan who is an uncle of Ambassador John Fritz, and Koben Mori, the ancestor of former President Manny Mori.

He spoke of shared components of vocabulary such as sashimi, shoyu, denki, Jidosha, nabe, and taiso, the latter of which he discovered is being practiced as morning exercise at Pohnpei Catholic School. And he spoke about “Gambare”, a word that means “cheer up”, “don’t give up”, and “keep it up”. He told the audience that the students of Kosrae High School, some of whom will be attending a tsunami awareness training in Japan next week just after Japan had another tsunami warning after an earthquake, sang a song for him that they had written entitled “Gambare Kosrae”.

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He asked several Kosraeans in the audience, including FSM Vice President Yosiwo George to sing the song. They gladly complied and Ambassador Horie joined along.
Japan had a supporting role in helping the FSM to gain World Heritage site status for Nan Madol. He announced that Tokyo Broadcasting Station, which visited Nan Madol to produce a documentary this summer would be airing that documentary during the weekend to millions of people in Japan. He said that he hoped that it would prompt many visitors over the coming years.
Ambassador Horie proposed a toast to the health and prosperity of everyone and the friendship between Japan and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Before also offering a toast, FSM’s Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs Samson Pretrick represented the FSM in wishing the health and prosperity of Japan’s Emperor Akihito and the long lasting relationship between the FSM and Japan.