SAMOA, November 1 – The Japanese government continues its commitment to its growing partnership with the Samoan government to achieve its development aspirations.
The long-awaited arrival of the MV LADY SAMOA IV was officially handed over yesterday (November 2) at a launch ceremony by His Excellency, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, Mr. SENTA Keisuke to Hon. Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and Hon. Minister of Public Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Olo Fiti Afoa Vaai. Also present at the ceremony were cabinet ministers, members of the diplomatic corps and distinguished guests.
The new vessel which arrived last Thursday at the port of Apia is 48 meters long and features an eco-friendly design with an international gross tonnage of 1,030 tons and a passenger capacity of up to 297 which is also equipped solar panels that will help provide electricity. for passenger spaces.
Construction of the project has been approved by the Government of Japan under its Economic and Social Development Grant Program and was launched earlier in April at Naikai Zosen Corporation’s Setoda Shipyard, Hiroshima, Japan.
The arrival of the MV LADY SAMOA IV will replace the MV LADY NAOMI which has been in service for 24 years between Apia and Pago Pago.
Japan is pleased to provide assistance through its grant worth USD 17 million (approximately 50 million SAT) which will help enhance Samoa’s maritime connectivity. In addition, increased commercial and commercial ties with American Samoa as well as the expansion of safe and efficient shipping to other nearby islands like Tokelau and the Cook Islands are also highly anticipated.
Assistance also included skills training for 6 Samoan crew members employed by the Samoa Shipping Corporation, who traveled on this vessel from Japan and assisted in the successful delivery of the vessel from Japan to Samoa.
Japan and Samoa have enjoyed a long history of cooperation, mutual assistance and friendship since 1973.