27 August 2020
The Hon Prime Minister, Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa and His Excellency, Mr. Tetsuya Ishii, Ambassador of Japan to Tonga, signed the Exchange Notes for Japan’s Grant Aid for Economic and Social Development at the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday 26 August 2020.
The signing ceremony is for the Non-Project Grant Assistance (NPGA), for the provision of Japanese Road Construction Vehicle including of three asphalt distributor trucks and spare parts totalling to 100 million Yen or approximately USD $1 million.
According to Ambassador Ishii, the provision based on Tongan people’s need and national priorities, “which has come through steady talks between us, since last year, in line with our assistance policy to the Kingdom”.
The Ambassador mentioned that these trucks will be delivered to Tonga early next year, believing that roads and backbones or pillars in people’s lives and industries. He stated that through NPGA, these trucks will assist in improving community roads and agricultural roads for the whole of Tonga with hope that improving of roads will contribute to the stimulation of economic activities and industries and lessens the gap between districts in order to attain a well-balanced economic development throughout the country.
“I firmly believes that improved roads will help the Kingdom’s resilience against disasters, and ensure that the people of Tonga can enjoy a secure and safe life,” the Ambassador said adding that he hoped that the vehicles will be of benefit to the current and future generations of Tonga.
He stated that Japan is happy to donate the vehicles for road improvement works which will be completed by the Government of Tonga itself thus requesting Government to carry out high quality maintenance pavement so that it will remain for future generations.
“We will build a road together that can create even firmer and brighter futures towards another half-century.”
On behalf of the Government of Tonga, Hon. Poasi Mataele Tei, Minister for MEIDECC expressed the Government’s gratitude to the Government and people of Japan for the continued assistance which will greatly assist Tonga to implement one of its priority in constructing roads.