Japan says they are determined to keep project on schedule.
That was uttered by the Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands HE Mr. Kenichi Kimiya at the Kukum Highway Upgrading Project ground-breaking ceremony held in Honiara yesterday.
“The whole project is expected to be completed in the latter half of 2018 and I would like to express our (Japanese Government) determination to keep this project on schedule, and look forward to seeing the successful completion of the project,” Mr Kimiya said.
At the same time, Mr Kimiya said the project cannot be achieved without the cooperation of the people and Government of Solomon Islands.
“I would like to take this opportunity to ask for the public understanding and cooperation for the construction and any inconvenience it may cause you.
“It gives me a great pleasure to be here this morning (yesterday) with your Honourable Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, and all the guests at today’s official ground breaking ceremony for the Project for Upgrading of Kukum Highway.”
Mr Kimiya said, yesterday’s ceremony might remind everyone of the Exchange of Notes and Grant agreement signing on 26th May 2015 where the Government of Japan has decided a grant up to three billion one hundred and eighty-eight million Japanese Yen (approx. 213 million Solomon Dollars) for the main construction works.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation for everyone who has made tireless efforts and contributions to reach a stage of implementation of the project,” he emphasised.
“It is my great pleasure that we are finally able to start the construction works.
“This project could become our symbolic token of friendship between Solomon Islands and Japan,” he said.
He added, the components of the project are not only paving existing road and re-constructing two Mataniko bridges, but also expanding capacity of the Kukum highway in order to reduce the traffic congestion and enhance traffic safety for all users.
“Recently, the traffic congestion is getting worse in the Honiara city, and many residents may experience daily frustrations.
“I am well aware of the public expectation for this project, and we are very happy to be given a chance to cooperate with the Government of Solomon Islands on such an important project,” he said.
He said those involved in the infrastructure development of Solomon Islands have faced challenges and difficulties in realising infrastructure projects as planned due to various obstacles including land issues, and we are no exception.
“I sincerely hope that the circumstances surrounding land issues would be improved so that Solomon Islands could pursue the development of this country more effectively.”
Mr Kimiya said, on behalf of the people and Government of Japan, he is very happy to start this promised project as their symbol of friendship between Japan and Solomon Islands.
“I also would like to remind you that we are able to implement this project thanks to hard works not only by people who have been engaged in the project but also by Japanese taxpayers.
“I believe, the success of this project will further strengthen our friendly bilateral relationship,” he said.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO