23 August 2019, Apia Samoa. The Official Residence of the Ambassador of Japan was opened last night and the Hon. Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi was invited over as the first guest.
H.E. Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Samoa welcomed his guests to experience Japanese culture and cuisine.
Japanese chef, Rikio Moto has recently arrived into Samoa to work exclusively for the Ambassador at the Residence.
Mr. Moto said that Japanese tradition is expressed in cuisine and he has been able to use locally grown ingredients.
“I believe this work becomes a bridge between the two countries and it would be my pleasure to do this while working at the Residence”.
Taking this occasion, H.E. Ambassador Aoki, unveiled the Decoration of Japan conferred upon the Hon. Prime Minister.
He received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun. This is the highest Order of Japan to non-Japanese nationals.
The Hon. Prime Minister was awarded the honor during his official visit to Japan last year.
It was awarded in the name of His Majesty the Emperor Akihito (currently Emperor Emeritus) for the Prime Minister’s outstanding contribution to strengthening the bilateral ties and promoting friendship between the two countries.
The specific contributions made by Tuilaepa were listed as:
- To establish the Embassy of Samoa in Tokyo in 2009 that makes ties between the two counties stronger and smoother thus intensifying cultural, economic and people’s exchange to a greater extent;
- To promote people-to-people exchange resulting in establishing the Japanese language major at the National University of Samoa and facilitating relationships between Samoa and Japan’s local municipalities, Iwaki and Yamagata and Okinawa Prefecture; and
- To foster deeper relationships between Japan and Pacific counties through its leading role in the Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (PALM) as the only national leader who has attended all meetings since the foundation in 1997.
Ambassador Aoki expressed his pleasure that he could finally introduce the Prime Minister’s meritorious deed for friendship of the two countries to the people of Samoa.