The first of two vessels being built in Japan for the Marshall Islands has been launched in Hiroshima.
The MV Kwajalein is part of a 16 million US-dollar aid package from the Japanese government.
The Marshall Islands Ambassador to Japan, Tom Kijiner, and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Annette Note, attended the launching ceremony of the vessel in Kure City.
The MV Kwajalein is a cargo and passenger vessel while the MV Majuro is a landing craft.
Mr Kijiner says it took a lot of hard work and commitment by many people to get to the launch and the government appreciates everyone's dedication and efforts.
The vessels will bolster inter-atoll shipping in the Marshall Islands, which has suffered in recent years following the sinking of the government Shipping Corporation's only landing craft 18 months ago and the age of the other three passenger and cargo vessels in its fleet.