Palau mourns death of former president Nakamura

Kuniwo Nakamura

Palau is mourning the passing of former President Kuniwo Nakamura, who passed away Oct. 14. He was 76.

Nakamura served as the president of Palau from 1993 to 2001 and was awarded the World Peace Prize Top Honor in 1997 for his leadership in bringing independence and increased democracy to Palau, promoting political stability, and preserving the natural environment.

He served as vice president of Palau from 1989 to 1993, under Ngiratkel Etpison. Nakamura was the son of a Japanese immigrant from Matsusaka, Ise Province and a Palauan chieftain's daughter. He was studying in his second year of primary school when the surrender of Japan ended World War II. He graduated from high school under the U.S. occupation of Palau and went on to study at the University of Hawaii.

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Palau President Tommy Remengesau credited Nakamura for leading the young Pacific nation to its independence.

"We cannot begin to express how much of a loss President Nakamura