Forum SG Puna joins incoming Forum Chair for high level Japan visit

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Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna and the Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown are in Japan this week meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and key ministers.

Brown, as the incoming Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, will be joined by the Republic of the Marshall Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kitlang Kabua at their high level meeting with the Japan leader.

“Plans by Japan to begin discharging over a million tonnes of treated Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific in 2023 are a core reason for the Forum visit. Talks may also include the Japan-Pacific Forum nations dialogue partner relationship and ongoing priorities set by Forum Leaders, particularly related to Oceans and the Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy”, said SG Puna.

“The visit is in pursuit of our joint commitment at the PALM9 to safeguard our nations against nuclear contamination. It is a demonstration of the importance that we place on Japan as a partner and I am confident that they will continue to work with the region towards a common and shared understanding of the key priorities that we have highlighted,” he said.

“Last week, Forum Chair and Prime Minister of Fiji Sitiveni Rabuka wrote to PM Kishida, conveying his full support as Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum for this mission, so our high-level delegation is in Japan with the full mandate and support of our membership”.

The high-level political visit takes place ahead of a technical mission to Fukushima by members of the Forum Independent scientific expert advisory group.

SOURCE: PIFS/PACNEWS