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Japan donates books to The Guy Morel Institute |10 December 2022

Japan donates books to The Guy Morel Institute

The official handover of the books

• Encourages the public to learn about Japan and its culture


Over hundreds of Japanese books translated into English versions, were handed over to The Guy Morel Institute (TGMI), earlier this week, by the Japanese chargé d’affaires, Ambassador Kato Eiji, during a short ceremony at the institution at Majoie.

Ambassador Kato Eiji handed over the books – ranging from social, arts, politics, literature, to business – to the acting executive director of TGMI, Patrick Bristol, in the presence of some of the institution’s staff.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Bristol said the donation, which comprises a wide range of titles, will be a great contribution to their library, which is open not only to their staff but the general public.

“Rest assured that as much as possible these books will be made available to the members of the public, who would like to have sight of them either for their studies or just to learn about Japan. We feel very privileged to be receiving these books,” he added, stating TGMI was also looking forward to future cooperation.

The books have been donated by the Nippon Foundation, under its ‘Read Japan Project’.

Nippon Foundation is a social innovation hub that works to achieve a better society by providing support, to various groups in society. The private, non-profit organisation established in 1962, directs Japanese motorboat racing revenue into philanthropic activities and uses the money to pursue global maritime development and assistance for humanitarian work, both at home and abroad.

In the humanitarian field, it focuses on fields such as social welfare, public health, and education.

When addressing the guests, Ambassador Kato Eiji said they chose TGMI because Guy Morel, a key figure in Seychelles, after whom the institution is named, had a special relationship with Japan in the 1980s, promoting exchanges between the two states.

He said the former principal secretary for Finance and former Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, who has since passed, was the chairperson of the Seychelles-Japan Friendship Association and made many great contributions to the promotion of relations between the two countries.

He added that in the 1980s, with Mr Morel’s input, exchanges between Japan and Seychelles were more active than today, with direct flights from Japan to Seychelles via Singapore, attracting around 25,000 Japanese tourists to Seychelles and a Japanese restaurant named Kyoto, where locals could enjoy Japanese food.

“I believe it is very significant that the handover ceremony is being held here today. We would like to take this opportunity to further promote our excellent relations and would appreciate all of your support and cooperation in this effort,” he said.

Ambassador Kato Eiji also had a special message from Yohei Sasakawa, the chairman of the Nippon Foundation, who said he was pleased to donate books to one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Seychelles, that has produced experts in a wide range of fields.

Mr Sasakawa’s message read that Japan and Seychelles have deep friendly relations for close to 50 years based on many shared values but opportunities to learn and deepen understanding about Japan are limited.

“Therefore, we are pleased that The Guy Morel Institute has shown interest in Japan and created the opportunity for the people of Seychelles to access quality information about Japan. The Nippon Foundation has been promoting the ‘Read Japan Project’ for over a decade. To date we have donated more than 74,000 books to more than 1,200 libraries and research institutions in 140 countries around the world. We are pleased to welcome The Guy Morel Institute to this club of recipients”.

The Nippon Foundation said it will further expand the selection of books to satisfy the intellectual curiosity of those interested in Japan and has asked young, aspiring Seychellois to make good use of the materials not only to deepen their interest in understanding Japan but to serve as a bridge between the two countries.

The books are available to the general public.


Patsy Canaya

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