Speaking on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said they join the people of Palau and its leaders in mourning the passing of former Palau president Kuniwo Nakamura, who passed away on Oct. 14, 2020.
“We would also like to extend our deepest heartfelt condolences to the Nakamura family during this difficult time,” said the Torres-Palacios administration in a statement last Sunday.
The statement described Nakamura as “a true pioneer” for the Republic of Palau, who helped navigate his nation from the Trust Territory days to its independence, served as vice president of Palau from 1989-1993, and eventually serving as Palau president from 1993-2001. He was the sixth president of the Republic of Palau. President Nakamura was awarded the World Peace Prize – Top Honor in 1997 for his leadership in bringing independence and democracy to the Republic of Palau, as well as promoting political stability and protecting the environment. The Torres-Palacios statement said that the prize signified Nakamura’s role a champion of Palau’s cultural identity, natural environment, and prosperity, and consistently worked to preserve it.
“There is no doubt his impact was felt on a global level,” the statement added. “His commitment to his people and dedication to public service will continue to serve as an inspiration to all islanders across the Pacific. We truly thank him for service to all of Micronesia.”
Sen. Tina Rose Muña Barnes, who is the speaker of the 35th Guam Legislature, also issued a statement about Nakamura’s passing. “On behalf of my husband Jake and I, our family, as well as the 35th Guam Legislature, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of President Nakamura. Our islands have definitely been able to flourish due to the long mutually-beneficial relationship between the people of Guam and the people of the Republic of Palau. This relationship is testament of President Nakamura’s leadership and commitment to his people and all those who call this Blue Continent home. We lost a friend, an ally, and a partner for sustainability, political stability, and prosperity—and as honorary Palauan, Mr. President, you will be cherished in the hearts of those you touched.” (Saipan Tribune)