San Maung Than (Sittwe)
Narinjara News, 29 March
A ceremony for the transfer of Kisspanadi 1 ferry by the Japanese government was held at Port No. 1 in Sittwe at 9:30 am on 29 March.
Kisspanadi 1 is a used Japanese ferry that has been renovated in Japan to run along the coastline in the Arakan State.
“Experts from Japan selected a suitable ferry for the Arakan State’s coastline and renovated it in details and sent it to the Arakan State after personally coming to the state to do the observation,” said U Thant Sin Aung, the Union Minister of Transport and Communications.
Kisspanadi 1 ferry will start operating along the coastline in the Arakan State next month. The ship is 32.95 meters long and 6.30 meters wide and has a draught of 2.60 meters. The 113-tonnes ferry has a capacity of 151 people, comprising 145 passengers and six crew members.
“The Arakan State is an important state in Burma and I have learnt that the NLD government is trying to handle the challenges of the Arakan State from all sides. The Japanese government will assist [Burma] in all aspects,” said Mr Tateashi Higuchi, the Japanese Ambassador for Burma.
The Japanese government is providing three coastal ferries to the Arakan State and the remaining Kisspanadi 2 is under renovation in Japan and will arrive in the Arakan State in May. Kisspanadi 3 is being built at a cost of 1,000 million yens and will arrive in the Arakan State in December, 2018.
The Japanese government is providing the three ferries for passenger safety in the Arakan State and coastal ferry service will resume in the Arakan State after the suspension following the sinking of Aung Takon ferry 3 two years.
The Arakan State’s Minister of Electric Power, Industry, and Transportation U Aung Kyaw Zan said the Japanese government’s donation will be considered as an example of friendship in the heart of the Arakan people.
A trial run of Kisspanadi 1 was held for ten minutes on the Kisspanadi River with the ministers, the Japanese ambassador, and participants of the ceremony on board.
The ceremony was attended by ministers, the Japanese ambassador, the defence attaché, Japanese embassy staffs, and officials from JICA.
Japan and Burma established diplomatic ties in 1954 and the Japanese government has been assisting in economic, social, and education sectors in Burma.