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Francis Mariur Matautaro

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of the Republic of Palau

Date of birth: Sept. 28, 1948

Hometown: Peleliu, Republic of Palau

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 5 (as of October 2018)

Francis Mariur Matautaro
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

My first encounter with Japan was in 2002 to Aquamarine Fukushima on a study tour as chief executive officer of Palau International Coral Reef Center and Palau Aquarium. Director Yoshitaka Abe of Aquamarine Fukushima and I had signed a relationship agreement in Palau prior to this visit for collaboration between our aquariums. We collaborated on a special display of species of goby found in Palau at Palau Aquarium for the visit of Their Imperial Majesties to Palau in April 2015.
The centerpiece display was a pair of akebonohaze (elegant firefish), believed to be the favorite of Their Majesties.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

Expect the unexpected. Life is full of twists and turns, surprises — pleasant and unpleasant. One must be in an accepting state of mind to take things as they come and make the best of it. It’s not what happens, but how we respond that counts.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I am a proud father of three. I can’t say I’m the best parent. I give that recognition to their mother. I can still claim, though, that I’m the proudest when it comes to my children and grandchildren. Despite all the trials and tribulations, and a good dose of regrets along the way for what I should or should not have said or done, I must admit parenthood has been a pure miracle journey and the best life education there is.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I’d like to finish my posting as ambassador of Palau in Japan feeling that I have made our two countries a lot closer to each other. I’ll leave with a sense of contentment if I feel I had contributed to the deepening of our friendship that we have enjoyed over the years.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Japan is a very hospitable host country. As a diplomat, we have enjoyed the omotenashi (hospitality) that Japan is well-known for in little and big ways. My advice is to enjoy your time to the fullest. It’s a magical place, deep in culture yet very modern, exquisite yet deeply rooted in its long traditions.

Last updated: Oct 29, 2018