Kuniwo Nakamura

Kuniwo Nakamura (Japanese: 中村國雄; November 24, 1943 – October 14, 2020)[2] was a Palauan politician who served as the President of Palau from 1993 to 2001. He had earlier served as Vice President of Palau from 1989 to 1993, under Ngiratkel Etpison.

Kuniwo Nakamura
Nakamura in 2007
6th President of Palau
In office
January 1, 1993 – January 1, 2001
Vice PresidentTommy Remengesau
Preceded byNgiratkel Etpison
Succeeded byTommy Remengesau
3rd Vice President of Palau
In office
January 1, 1989 – January 1, 1993
PresidentNgiratkel Etpison
Preceded byThomas Remengesau Sr.
Succeeded byTommy Remengesau
Personal details
Born(1943-11-24)November 24, 1943
Peleliu, South Seas Mandate
DiedOctober 14, 2020(2020-10-14) (aged 76)[1]
Koror, Palau
Spouse(s)Elong Nakamura

Background and early lifeEdit

Nakamura was the son of a Japanese immigrant from Matsusaka, Ise Province and a Palauan chieftain's daughter. He was studying in his second year of primary school when the surrender of Japan ended World War II. He graduated from high school under the U.S. occupation of Palau and went on to study at the University of Hawaii.[3]


Nakamura began his political career at the age of 28, becoming the youngest person to be elected to the Congress of Micronesia.[4] He served as Vice-President from January 1989 to January 1993.[5] He was first elected president in the 1992 elections; he attracted 3,125 votes, versus 2,084 for one-term incumbent Ngiratkel Etpison and 3,188 for rival Johnson Toribiong, and then went on to defeat Toribiong in the runoff.[6] He served two terms, being re-elected in 1996 by a 64%-36% margin over Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons.[7] He did not run in the 2000 elections, but backed his vice-president Tommy Remengesau, who emerged victorious by a 53%-47% margin against senator Peter Sugiyama.[4]


Kuniwo Nakamura was awarded the World Peace Prize Top Honor in 1997 for his leadership in bringing independence and increased democracy to the Republic of Palau, promoting political stability, and preserving the natural environment.[8]


  1. ^ "Former president of Palau, Kuniwo Nakamura, dies". Pasific Daily News. 14 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  2. ^ Profile of Kuniwo Nakamura
  3. ^ Utagawa, Reizo (1999), "Republic of Palau Travelogue: My Way in 'Wonder Islands', No Longer the South Sea Islands" (PDF), Wave of Pacifika, 6: 5–7, retrieved 2010-11-22
  4. ^ a b "Remengesau clear winner in Palau presidential race", Kyodo News, 2000-11-09, retrieved 2010-11-22
  5. ^ Past Vice Presidents Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine Republic of Palau
  6. ^ Hassall, Graham; Saunders, Cheryl (2002), Asia-Pacific constitutional systems, Cambridge University Press, p. 93, ISBN 978-0-521-59129-4
  7. ^ Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p757 ISBN 0-19-924959-8
  8. ^ World Peace Prize Top Honer Prize-Kuniwo Nakamura WPPAC.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Remengesau Sr.
Vice-President of Palau
Succeeded by
Thomas Remengesau Jr.
Preceded by
Ngiratkel Etpison
President of Palau
Succeeded by
Thomas Remengesau Jr.