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Tonga celebrates 85th Birthday of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Japan

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 23/11/2018

The Japanese Ambassador to Tonga – H.E Tetsuya Ishii hosted a reception dinner yesterday evening to mark the Japanese Emperor’s 85th birthday where HRH Prince Ata was guest of honor.

Ambassador Ishii says this year is truly significant for the people of Japan.

“We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of his Majesty Emperor Akihito’s Accession to the Throne. His Majesty will abdicate at the end of April and the enthronement of His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince Naruhito will take place in May next year.”

He highlighted the development projects going on here in Tonga, funded by the Government of Japan.

“The Embassy’s Grass-root Projects or GGP and Japan’s Overseas Cooperation Volunteers are two of the most notable assistances that strengthens our relations with Tonga’s local communities. These two branches of Japan’s Aid are best described by the old saying SI’I ‘a ‘uha ‘aia neongo ‘ena si’isi’I kaa ‘oku lahi pea mafola ‘a hono ‘aonga.”

“In this regard I wish to reinstate that our Japan Tonga relations are reciprocal but not unilateral and it is such two-way flow of mutual respect and understanding that reinforces our enduring ties.”

He adds Japan is ready to host the G20 summit next year and the 2019 Rugby Union World Cup and looks forward for Tonga’s participation.

H.E Ishi adds Japan is looking forward to celebrate its half a century anniversary of diplomatic ties with Tonga in the next 2 years.

“It is my sincere wish that after 50 years from now our successors will look back at the milestone of our 50th anniversary with appreciation just as we prepare to open the doorway for the beginning of our new half century chapter in 2020.”

He concluded his speech with a toast to His Majesty Emperor Akihito and to His Majesty King Tupou IV and His Royal Highness Prince Ata with good health and lifetimes of happiness and prosperity for all the people in Tonga and Japan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Tonga – ‘Akilisi Pohiva conveyed best wishes to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito on his 85th Birthday.

“May His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito continue to enjoy good health, prosperity and profound happiness.”

He said Tonga and Japan’s Diplomatic relations has been successful over the 48 years energized by the strong personal ties between the Tongan Royal Family and Japanese Imperial Household.

“Members of the two Royal Households have graced their presences in each other’s country to either celebrate auspicious occasions or offer comfort in times of distress. Your Excellency Tonga appreciates the ongoing bilateral assistance programs if Japan that supports Tonga’s National Development priorities and its efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Tonga and Japan have been cooperating in areas of trade, sports, marine, research, infrastructure, education and health.”

The Prime Minister also acknowledged Japan’s major projects in Tonga such as the 66 million pa’anga construction of the new Taufa’ahau Tupou IV Domestic Wharf and Terminal and the installation of the wind power General system project that helps Tonga to achieve its 50% renewable energy system.

During the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting – Palm 8 in Japan Tonga signed the 56 million pa’anga grant aid for the Nationwide Early Warning System – NEWS project and Strengthening Disaster and Communications.

He also concluded with a toast to the prosperity and the welfare of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor Akihito, the Government and the people of Japan.

© Radio and Television Tonga News