Tosiwo Nakayama's Speech at the 1975 Micronesian Constitutional Convention

Former Senate President and former FSM President, the honorable Tosiwo Nakayama. His speech during the 1975 Micronesian Constitutional Convention.

From the Journal of the Micronesian Constitutional Convention:

High Commissioner Johnston, honored guests, fellow Delegates: The writing of a constitution is an important event in the history of any land. To be brought together like this; to draft the supreme law of the land; to plan our future; to know our success or our failure may follow us for the rest of our lives - all this makes the writing of a constitution a crucial event. In Micronesia, however, the writing of a constitution becomes even more important - it becomes a matter of national life and death.

Many people have commented on the problems facing this convention. There are old customs and new, problems of unity, problems of political status. we all know what these problems are - we have been living with them. they  make it all the more important for us to do our jobs as best we can. there are some who expect we will fail here. and the consequences of such failure would be profound. if we fail, the idea of Micronesia may die. If we do not produce a constitution or if the constitution we produce is a meaningless piece of paper, this failure will echo in these islands for years to come.

Now, having the problems we face, having discussed the consequences of failure, it is only fair to discuss the consequences of success. If, against heavy odds, we can work together here and produce a constitution which works for Micronesia, then the idea of Micronesian unity will be given new life. if this convention, day by day, meeting by meeting, issue by issue, detail by detail, can build a constitution in which we believe and in which our people believe, then we can have renewed faith in the future of Micronesia.

We have a long ninety days before us. After these ceremonies are over, after our officers have been elected, after we have all made our work, let us keep one main thought in mind: that we are writing a constitution for Micronesia. No matter who has guided us in the past, no matter who assists us now, this is to be a Micronesian constitution. if we face problems, we should face them in a Micronesian way, searching for our own traditions and resources for the answers we need. We can accept help when we feel we need it, we can work with outsiders, but we must remember that what we do here, we do as Micronesians for Micronesia. We will be living with this constitution when our friends are gone. Our Micronesian children will be living with the constitution when we ourselves have departed.

What is Micronesia? It began as an accidental discovery by outside explorers. Then it was a proving ground for outside missionaries and traders. After that, it was an arrangement for outside administrators, Japanese and American. Thus, until very recently, the idea of Micronesia has been a foreign-imposed one. It will be the task of this convention to decide whether this idea of Micronesia is an idea which our own people can live with. Now is the time of testing for Micronesia. Not just testing, but final examination. It is now - or never - for Micronesia. Let it be now. Thank you.