The fleet of the domestic shipping services in the FSM, belonging to the National and State Governments, had been total six vessels at most, and had been serving as the lifeline for people in the outer islands. Around 1976 to 1978, the shipping services in the FSM were prospering with five vessels (hereinafter called Micro class vessels) procured under Japanese Grant Aid Scheme to the National and State Governments. Anticipating the aging and subsequent retirement of these five vessels, Caroline Voyager (hereinafter called C/V) was provided to the National Government under the Japanese grant aid scheme in 1998. Accordingly, a total of six vessels were in operation for four years between 1998 and 2002.
However, the Micro class vessels became inoperable one after another after 2002 due to deterioration and submersion and all the five vessels became nonoperational in 2005 with Micro Glory (hereinafter called M/G) being the last to be inoperable. As a result, the maritime transport functions were significantly lowered. At present, the National Government took the place of the State Government after disengagement of five vessels and has continually operated C/V as the only vessel for domestic shipping services in the FSM with an aim of securing the minimum necessary means of public transportation for the outer island people, shipping necessities for their life and providing transport for homecoming trips.
To support the life and the medical care of the outer island people and to ensure opportunities for them to study, the fleet of the domestic shipping services should be operated safely and stably. Therefore, it is necessary to procure a new cargo passenger vessel, thereby strengthening the cargo and passenger transport in the FSM.
Recognizing the situation, the National Government of the FSM has requested the Japan’s Grant Aid to procure one cargo-passenger vessel to the Government of Japan in 2010.
In response to the request, the Government of Japan decided to implement the survey and JICA dispatched a preparatory survey team to the FSM from March 5th to March 20th, 2013.