19 April 2022, Hiroshima, Japan, Samoa’s new international passenger vessel, which is being built under Japan’s grant aid assistance, was launched on Tuesday, 19 April 2022 at the Setoda Shipyard of Naikai Zosen Corporation, Hiroshima, Japan.
Samoa Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa attended the naming and launching ceremony via online portal from Apia. In Japan was Samoa’s the Ambassador to Japan, Fa’alava’au Perina Sila-Tualaulelei, Senior Coordinator, International Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Ohmura Kazuyoshi, the Mayor of Onomichi City Mr Hiratani Yukihiro, JICS and the President and executives of the Naikai Zosen Corporation.
In her remarks, Ambassador Sila-Tualaulelei said, “I would like on behalf of the Government and people of the Independent State of Samoa, to express my sincere gratitude to the Government and people of Japan for its continued assistance to Samoa’s development aspirations. This vessel will contribute in strengthening Samoa’s maritime connectivity and enhance safe and efficient sea transportation, economic and trade links with American Samoa.”
MV LADY SAMOA IV features an environment-friendly design with consideration for passenger comfort, advanced technology throughout and is equipped to handle a wide variety of cargo shipment. Its overall length is 48metres, international gross tonnage of 1,130 tons and a complement of 297 (280 passengers and 17 crew). Following the launch, the vessel will remain at the shipyard in Hiroshima to be outfitted, to undergo a series of performance inspections, and provide operational training to its Samoan crew before it is delivered to Apia in August 2022.
The project for the construction of the new international vessel to succeed MV LADY NAOMI (constructed in 1998) was approved by the Government of Japan under its ESDP grant aid assistance.