Japan reaffirms strong support for Fiji’s development priorities

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The Japanese Government has reaffirmed their solidarity and unwavering support to the Fijian Government for the advancement of regional prosperity and Fiji’s national priorities.

This has been reinforced at the bilateral meeting convened Saturday between Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hayashi Yoshimasa.

Prime Minister Bainimarama formally welcomed Minister Yoshimasa on his first official visit to Fiji and said that this visit demonstrates Fiji and Japan’s strong historical ties and relations.

The Prime Minister commended Japan for its continuous support to Fiji’s national development priorities and scope of partnership, which over the years, has extended to important areas including climate change, disaster risk management, and COVID-19 response efforts.

He acknowledged Japan’s assistance to Fiji in times of great need, especially support in the timely provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), life-saving medical equipment, and contribution to the COVAX Facility, which helped with the vaccination campaign rollout and ultimately, the reopening of Fiji’s international borders and our economic recovery.

Perspectives on the potential opportunities for increased collaboration in the areas of commerce, tourism, trade, education, health, security, disaster management, rural development, and infrastructure was also discussed at the meeting.

The significance of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and Japan’s engagement with the Pacific was also discussed at the meeting.

The Prime Minister commended the Japanese Government for its continued commitment towards the Japan-Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM-9) and Japan’s aspirations to enhance relations with Pacific Island countries through dialogue on a number of initiatives under their regional assistance programme.

Additionally, Fiji looks forward to the next PALM meeting to renew and strengthen this important and enduring PALM partnership and to achieve our common vision of peace and prosperity for the Pacific region.

The important contributions of agencies like Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan International Cooperation System (JICS) in empowering communities through various development programmes were acknowledged.

The Prime Minister extended the Fijian Government’s and the people of Fiji’s best wishes to Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, and the people of Japan.

In response, Hayashi Yoshimasa commended Prime Minister Bainimarama for his exemplary leadership and commitment to the advancement of shared aspirations for global and regional peace and prosperity.

He said that his visit to Fiji demonstrates our enduring friendship and cooperation that has continued to strengthen over the years.

Yoshimasa said that Fiji is an important development partner and Japan attaches great importance to the bilateral relations with Fiji, with mutual cooperation for a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

He said that Japan will continue to cooperate with Prime Minister Bainimarama to further strengthen collaboration between our two nations.

He also thanked the Fijian Government and the people of Fiji for the warm hospitality and he looks forward to future visits by Prime Minister Bainimarama and the Fijian delegation to Japan.

SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS