29th March 2022, Tokyo, Japan. An official opening took place in Kumamoto Prefecture Japan on Monday, 28 March 2022, to open the third Honorary Consulate of the Independent State of Samoa in Japan at the headquarters of the Higo Bank Ltd., one of the leading financial institutions in Kumamoto.
The ceremony was attended by local dignitaries including the Deputy Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture, Members of the Prefectural Assembly, the Mayor of Kumamoto City, presidents and executives of the Higo Bank Ltd, the Chamber of Commerce, education and sports institutions in Kumamoto Prefecture. Prior to the ceremony, the Ambassador of Samoa to Japan, Fa’alava’au Perina Sila-Tualaulelei, met with the Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture, Dr. Ikuo Kabashima, and senior officials of the prefectural government for discussion on areas for cooperation and partnerships between Samoa and Kumamoto.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Sila-Tualaulelei highlighted the significance of the establishment of the Honorary Consulate in Samoa’s endeavours to strengthening the warm relations between Samoa and Japan, in the implementation of PALM Summit* outcomes and providing assistance to Samoan nationals residing in this region.
The Honorary Consulate, based in the Higo Bank HQ in Kumamoto City, will work with the Embassy of Samoa in Tokyo in the promotion of Samoa’s interests in trade, investment and tourism; develop business connections between Samoan and Japanese companies; and facilitate people-to-people exchanges in sports, education and culture.
This is Samoa’s third Honorary Consulate in Japan; the other two are in Fukushima Prefecture (based in Iwaki City, established in 2016) and in Fukuoka Prefecture (based in Fukuoka City, established in 2021).
Mr. Kai is the Chairman of the Higo Bank Ltd. and Director of the Board of the Kyushu Financial Group. He is a well-known, respected figure in the finance, business and political circles in the Kyushu region and in Japan.
Kumamoto Prefecture, ‘the land of water’ is located in the centre of Kyushu Island to the south of Tokyo, with a population of 1.8 million. Kumamoto Prefecture’s economy revolves around banking, clean water-dependent manufacturing (semiconductors, solar cell, vehicles, electronics) and agricultural industries.