Samoa Grateful to Government of Japan for Tilafaiga Patrol Boat

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The $3 million tala Tilafaiga Patrol Boat to support the Samoa Police maritime surveillance and law enforcement programme was officially handed over by the Government of Japan this week.

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Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa acknowledged Japan’s ongoing assistance in various areas of Samoa’s development.

“We recognise the commitment by Japan to assist the Samoa Police, Prisons & Corrections Services with patrolling and surveillance of our borders as well as with search and rescue,” said the Prime Minister.

“This is another important milestone in the partnership between the two countries.”

Minister of Police Lefau Harry Schuster had signed an Exchange of Notes in July 2022 with HE Mr. SENTA Keisuke, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Samoa.

“The Exchange of Notes formalises a grant assistance to the amount of JPY 150,000,000 (approximately WST 3,000,000),” a press statement had confirmed at the time.

“The new vessel will further enhance Samoa’s maritime capability to ensure ongoing protection of her territorial waters and marine resources,” said Hon Faualo.

“It will enhance border protection from external security threats including transnational crime, illegal immigration as well as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing..”

The patrol boat will also support Police in its effective emergency response services for disasters, such as coastline surveillance, and search & rescue operations.

“This a long-awaited moment for Samoa Police, Prisons & Corrections Services after receiving much-needed support with surveillance and patrolling of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” said Samoa’s Police Commissioner.

“We are very grateful to the Government of Japan for this invaluable contribution.”

The handover ceremony was led by Rev. Amosa Reupena who said this was a moment of thanksgiving and reflection of the strengthening bond and relationship between the Government of Samoa and the Government of Japan.

Ambassador of Japan to Samoa Hon. Senta Keisuke, re-emphasised the two nations’ partnership and said this was timely to honour the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The small ceremony was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corp and partners of SPPCS.

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