The National Cultural Centre was constructed with a grant aid from the Government of Japan, and on the 4 of May, 1988 His Late Majesty King Tupou IV commissioned the facility at its current location, in Tofoa.
In the remarks at the celebration, Ambassador Ishii stated that “His Late Majesty, King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV visited Japan in 1985 and found that both traditional and contemporary cultures coexist in the society. Based upon such experience , upon His return to Tonga, He headed the proceeding on the proposal to the Government of Japan to fund a centre with three main purposes. Firstly to collect and preserve Tonga customary practices, cultural performances, and traditional arts and handicrafts. Secondly, to provide a place for exhibiting, maintaining and demonstrating those priceless parts of Tonga life, and for training craftspersons. Thirdly, to showcase an accurate and favourable image of Tonga, both domestically and internationally.”
Ambassador Ishii applauded the far-sighted idea of His Late Majesty King Tupou IV and expressed his hope that the National Centre will be used well in the years to come. He also congratulated the success of Tonga Cultural Week, which concluded with the unveiling of the Centre’s 30th Anniversary Plaque by HRH Princess Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita.