On November 3rd, a farewell reception for H.E. Mr. MUNENAGA Kensaku, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga was held at his residence in ‘Anana, who will conclude three years in the Kingdom this month. Hon. Mr. Samiu Vaipulu, Acting Prime Minister (Deputy Prime Minister) of Tonga attended the farewell reception as the guest of honor along with Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Heads of Resident Diplomatic Missions in Tonga, business people, and close friends of Ambassador MUNENAGA and his wife, Mrs. MUNENAGA Yoshiko.
In his speech, Ambassador MUNENAGA expressed his profound gratitude to the Tongan side for their cooperation during his three-year term, and also shared his memories of the resilience of the Tongan people in the face of the unprecedented crisis of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcanic eruption and ensuing tsunami disasters, and the spread of COVID-19 in the Kingdom. Ambassador MUNENAGA expressed his pride in the cooperation between two countries during this unprecedented crisis, which included the transportation of emergency supplies by the Self-Defense Forces and the provision of COVID-19 vaccines. He also mentioned that one of his fondest memories was giving Japanese lectures to Japanese language students.
In his speech, Hon. Mr. Vaipulu acknowledged that Ambassador MUNENAGA had worked hard for the mutual benefit of both Japan and Tonga and its people, and thanked Ambassador MUNENAGA for the significant role he had played in the transportation of emergency supplies by the Self-Defense Forces and the provision of COVID-19 vaccines by the Government of Japan while the Kingdom faced the unprecedented crisis caused by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcanic eruption and ensuing tsunami disasters, and the spread of COVID-19 in the Kingdom.
A Farewell remark was also delivered by H.E. Mr. CAO Xiaolin, Ambassador of China to Tonga, and the current Dean of the Resident Missions, and before the evening concluded, the closing speech was delivered by Mr. TAKASHIMA Hiroaki, Resident Representative of JICA in Tonga. At the reception, Japanese cuisines and sake were served, and a slide show of Ambassador MUNENAGA’s memories of his three years in the Kingdom was played.