Tosiwo Nakayama

Tosiwo Nakayama
中山 利雄
President of Micronesia
In office
11 May 1979 – 11 May 1987
Vice President Petrus Tun
Bailey Olter
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by John Haglelgam
President of Senate of Micronesian Congress
In office
July 1965 – 1967
Preceded by John O. Ngiraked
Succeeded by John O. Ngiraked
In office
Jan 1973 – May 1979
Preceded by Amata Kabua
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born (1931-11-23)23 November 1931
Chuuk, Micronesia
Died 29 March 2007(2007-03-29) (aged 75)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Miter Haruo

Tosiwo Nakayama (November 23, 1931 in Chuuk – March 29, 2007) was the first President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). He served two terms from 1979 until 1987.


He was born on Piserach Island on November 23, 1931, Piserach Island is part of Nomwunweito Atoll in what is now known as Chuuk, formerly known as Truk. He had a Japanese father and a native mother.[1] and is the older brother of FSM's ambassador to Japan, Masao Nakayama.[2]

In 1955 he was awarded a Trust Territory Scholarship that allowed him to study for two years at University High School and for two years at the University of Hawaii. Upon his return in 1958 from his formal education experience he was appointed as the Supervisor of Adult Education. He was later appointed as the Political and Economic Advisor to the District Administration. Later he served his people in the Truk District Legislature and was President of that assembly from 1960 to 1961. After his term in Truk, he was appointed as the Micronesian Advisor to the United States Delegation to the United Nations Trusteeship Council after which he returned to Micronesia by way of Europe and Asia. In 1962 he was elected by the people to the Council of Micronesia and served there until 1963. In the following year, he was appointed as the Assistant District Administrator for Public Affairs - Truk. On September 10, 1963, he was married to Miter Haruo in Chuuk. In 1965 he was elected to the House of Delegates of the Congress of Micronesia. During the organizational meeting of that body, he was again elected President of the Senate.[3] He was a member of the Truk District Scholarship Committee, the Truk Review Advisory Board, the Truk District Recreational Committee, the Truk Board of Education, as well as many other boards and committees. On July 12, 1978, history was made in what has become the Federated States of Micronesia. A constitutional convention was held and the United Nations determined it was a legitimate act of self-determination. One commentator said that "the people reasserted their inherent sovereignty which had remained dormant, but intact, throughout the years of stewardship by the League of Nations and the United Nations." In May 1979, statehood was declared for Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae and an elected Congress was seated. From their number, His Excellency Tosiwo Nakayama was once again elected as President, this time he was at the helm of a new nation. He oversaw the orderly transfer of governmental functions from the United States of America from 1979 to 1986 and served on until 1987, his maximum constitutionally allowable term. In October 1987 he took a position with the Bank of Guam, Chuuk Branch as the Vice President for Governmental Affairs, a position he held until December 2003. His health began to fail in 1992 when he had his first stroke from which he recovered well. In 1998 he had quintuple bypass surgery. Sometime later he had laser surgery on one of his eyes which left him partially blind. In the summer of 2005, he underwent surgery for a pacemaker in order to stimulate his weak heart. Three days after that surgery he had an additional stroke that left him paralyzed and unable to speak though he was completely cognizant. The 14th Congress of the FSM passed a bill that was signed into law by current President Joseph Urusemal in July 2006 that allocated money to help the family with mounting medical bills for the nation's first President. In February of 2007, former President Nakayama admitted in the hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. While being admitted in the hospital, the former President succumbed to his body's final demands on the 29th of March. Letters and cards of condolences can be sent to: P.O. Box 419 Weno, Chuuk FM 96942 Federated States of Micronesia. At press time there was the talk of a state funeral in Palikir before President Nakayama's remains are flown to Chuuk, his final resting place. The date for the state funeral there is not currently certain. His family would like to give their special thanks to their own family members and their friends for helping them to take care of President Nakayama in his latter days. They especially want to thank Sydnina, his daughter, who was the primary caretaker for her father in his latter days. The nation proudly remembers the contributions of President Tosiwo Nakayama, architect of a nation.

Nakayama died on March 29, 2007, at Hawaii Medical Center West in Honolulu, Hawaii at the age of 75.


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Political offices
Preceded by
New office
President of the Federated States of Micronesia
1979 – 1987
Succeeded by
John Haglelgam