Yap traditional dancers (Photo: Joyce McClure)
Colonia, Yap-- During a summit meeting between Japan and the Federated States of Micronesia last fall, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, expressed his gratitude to FSM for consistently and strongly supporting his country in the international arena for many years and noted that 2018 would be the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations. His desire to develop even stronger relations was met favorably by FSM President Peter Christian who replied that he too wished to further strengthen bilateral relations with Japan. It turns out, this wasn't just rhetoric. Yap, one of four states of the FSM, is now preparing to celebrate the 30-year anniversary between the two Pacific islands during its annual Yap Summer Festival that will take place at the Living History Museum in Colonia on June 15 – 16. “We are very excited to be able to bring together the traditional dances, food, art and culture of Yap and Japan to showcase our friendship,” said Don Evans, general manager of the Yap Visitors Bureau. “Both cultures are not just unique but use distinct, artistic expressions that represent and honor their ways of life,” he added. “It will be an exciting two days to be in Yap!” FSM Ambassador to Japan John Fritz and FSM Consul-General to Hokkaido Nobutsugi Kyuribayashi will be among the honored guests. The formal program will include addresses by local and visiting dignitaries; entertainment by students from Yap Catholic High School; and, traditional Yapese and Japanese dance performances. Participating in the event will also be local members of the Japan International Cooperation Agency who plan to host a sushi stand, a Japanese treat that is found on every menu in Yap. Other student groups and local organizations are being invited to sell local food, handicrafts and other products in the festival’s marketplace. For more information about the festival or to rent a booth, stop by the Yap Visitors Bureau during normal business hours, call (691) 350-2298 or go to www.visityap.com.