Colonia, Yap-- It started off as a typical ceremony to hand over a check for a grant from the Japanese government, but it ended with the audience of Yap Catholic High School students and Yap State officials leaping to their feet and whooping and applauding for more. Not more money. More singing from His Excellency Ambassador Ryoichi Horie and his wife, Madame Yuko Horie.
But maybe I’m getting ahead of the story. The hot, humid afternoon began earlier with a much more sedate ceremony at Yap Memorial Hospital where Ambassador Horie presented a check for $61,640 to Gov. Henry Falan for an incinerator that will upgrade the sustainability of the hospital’s waste disposal system.
The grant is one of three types of Official Development Assistance grants provided by the Japanese government, Amb. Horie explained. The first is for large projects like the purchase of cargo and passenger ships. FSM’s national ship, the Caroline Voyager, whih provides service to the country’s outer islands, is one example, as is the expansion of the airport in Pohnpei and road construction projects.
The second type of ODA grant is for “non-projects,” or things like heavy machinery including construction equipment, garbage trucks and patrol boats. Each of FSM’s four states, Amb. Horie noted, receives an amount every year to purchase whatever they need from a total allocation of $2 million to $3 million that is divided equally between the four states. In 2018, Yap opted to use some of their portion to purchase a glass crusher for the waste management facility.
The third grant category is for “grassroots projects” like the hospital’s incinerator that generally avera