KOROR (Tia Belau/Pacnews) â€” Palau is set to receive a 40m or 132ft patrol vessel to enhance its coast guard capabilities for managing its territorial waters including its 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
The medium-sized patrol boat costs more than $30 million and is expected to be handed over by the end of next year.
The new patrol vessel is one of several provisions identified in the memorandum of understanding or MOU which was signed between the Republic of Palau, the Nippon Foundation and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation on the support to enhance coast guard capabilities and promote eco-conscious tourism in the Republic of Palau.
In comparison, PSS H.I Remeliik is 31.5m (104ft). Remeliik is Palauâ€™s first patrol board donated by the Australian government after Palau gained its independence in 2004.
President Tommy Remengesau, Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa, and Sasakawa Peace Foundation chairman Jiro Hanyu signed the MOU at a brief ceremony at the Palau Royal Resort on Feb. 26, 2016.
In addition to the patrol vessel, another small patrol boat which is similar to the earlier donated patrol boats Kabekelâ€™metal and Bul will be provided.
Coast guard capabilities provision also includes construction of a new berth for the patrol vessel and an administrative building. Palau agrees to provide the land space necessary for the berth and building.
The Nippon Foundation will provide financial support to cover fuel and maintenance cost for the vessel until the end of Japanese fiscal year 2027 and for the boat until the end of Japanese fiscal year 2026.
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation agreed to provide financial assistance necessary for employing crews to operate the medium-sized patrol vessel and for training those crews to be conducted by the Japanese partner organizations until the end of Japanese fiscal year 2027. The Sasakawa Peace Foundation also agrees to provide financial assistance to carry out the on the job training program for the crews of the small patrol boats until the end of Japanese fiscal year 2026.
In response, Palau will accept an advisor or advisors from Japan at appropriate positions in the Division of Marine Law Enforcement to enhance coast guard capabilities and facilitate the activities set out under this memorandum of understanding.
Eco-conscious tourism provisions under the MOU, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation concurs with the Palau in promoting eco-conscious tourism and agrees to provide support capacity building for eco-conscious tourism such as staff training in Japan and holding workshops in Palau.
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation will collaborate with Palau a survey to assess the carrying capacity in selected tourism spots around the island.
On Friday, Palau, the Nippon Foundation, and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation sponsored a meeting with representatives from the government of Palau, Japan, United States, and Australia called the â€œMeeting of Four Governments and Two NGOs for Enhancing Coast Guard Capabilities and Promoting Eco-conscious Tourism in the Republic of Palauâ€ to discuss implementation moving forward of specific forms of support from the two Japanese NGOs along with areas where it may be possible for the United States, Australia and other related countries to cooperate.