In Pohnpei

Yesterday I presented my credentials to President Mori in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). I am right now in Kolonia on the island of Pohnpei, one of the rainiest places on earth. FSM has a long and fascinating history. Earlier today my wife and I visited the Nan Madol ruins, a small city built some two thousand years ago, using enormous stones looking like huge logs. How they got there and what they were used for is still much of a mystery, but  the methods used in creating these structures next to the ocean must have been very intelligent . Each stone “log” probably weigh half a ton and there are thousands of them. Fascinating does not describe it well enough.

FSM relies very much on fishing and licensing of fishing rights to other states. The ongoing climate change is a huge problem, not only because of the rising sea levels, but also because of changing temperatures in the ocean, which influences the way schools of fish travel. It is a privilege to be given an opportunity to visit this country, since it is not easy to travel to the capital of FSM. From Tokyo you first have to go to Guam, which belongs to the USA, and then continue to Truk (Chuuk) before reaching Pohnpei. FSM is a federation of four states, Pohnpei, Truk, Kosrae and Yap. And the distance between the island states is considerable. In fact, to travel from Pohnpei to Yap you have to go via Guam. There are not many countries in the world where you have to travel via another country to reach parts of your own territory.

Before going on this trip the Swedish community in Japan had the privilege of welcoming Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden to Tokyo. They had just finished their state visit to the Republic of Korea and made a stop over before returning home to Sweden. In Tokyo the Queen participated in a very important international seminar against the sexual exploitation of children, a big problem all over the world. Her speech was very important, not least the way she underlined the importance of banning child pornography. The King meanwhile visited the Rinkai disaster center in Tokyo, where it is possible to sea how Japanese authorities prepare for large disasters such as major earthquakes in the Tokyo area. Their Majesties together also participated in the Sweden Day celebrations at the Embassy, an event combining the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (SCCJ) and the national day celebrations (a few days before the actual day).

 


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