Press Release: 11th June 2015
The Hon Prime Minister, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, who is also Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, signed an agreement of approximately TOP$55.4 Million Pa’anga grant with the Government of Japan, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office, On Wednesday 10th June 2015 for the upgrading of the wharf for domestic transport.
This important development project was initially announced by the Hon Prime Minister of Japan during the PALM7 meeting in Japan last month. And that, the signing of this grant reflects the demonstration of commitment by the Government of Japan to contribute to the social and economic development of the Kingdom of Tonga that has been ongoing for years to date.
The grant brought to the fore a very successful result of a request made by the Government of Tonga to the Government of Japan for improving “the handling efficiency of both cargos and passengers by separating domestic and international shipping”, as stated by His Excellency, Mr. Yukio Numata, the Ambassador of Japan to Tonga, in his statements at the occasion. He also stated that the plan is “to reconstruct the seaside area on the Western side of Faua Wharf into a new domestic wharf that will cater for inter-island transportation.”
He also mentioned that the “new domestic wharf … through its distinct design and technologies, whereby the Passenger Terminal Building is based on the principle of universal design, which will remarkably cater for the special needs of elderly and disabled people through the installation of gently sloped ramps throughout its entrances and passageways.
The Passenger Terminal Building’s roof top will have an independent solar system to commence Tonga’s step towards facilities that are more energy efficient with a greater degree of energy security, and more importantly an environmentally friendly source of energy”.
According to His Excellency, Mr Numata, “the project is expected to complete and be operational by 2018”, which is also timeliness to the 2019 Pacific Games in the Kingdom of Tonga in 2019.
The Hon Prime Minister, Hon Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, in his closing statements extended to His Excellency, Mr Yukio Numata, Ambassador of Japan to Tonga, and the Government of Japan, the “heartfelt appreciation” of the Tongan Government and the people of Tonga with the grant. He therefore expressed his well wishes for the “bilateral relation between Japan and Tonga to continue growing in strength”.