The Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Leaders and Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga convened the 9th Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting (PALM 9) yesterday with a renewed commitment to sustainable recovery and resilience through regional solidarity.
Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama expressed his appreciation to Japan for its leadership through the PALM process which provide opportunities to collaboratively address challenges in the region in particular the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japan’s continued assistance in the region through socioeconomic development programs and initiatives was acknowledged at PALM9.
On Pacific regionalism, Prime Minister Bainimarama said the 2050 Strategy for Blue Pacific Continent represents our collective aspirations for deepened commitment and shared stewardship of the Pacific Ocean. Further emphasising that the 2050 Strategy will comprehensively guide the region’s collective action.
Prime Minister Bainimarama acknowledged Japan’s support for the Pacific’s prosperity and he called on the development partners to realign their efforts to our regional aspirations in the shared strategic interests as the Blue Pacific.
He said the partnership between Japan and PIF Leaders is founded on historic bonds and mutual trust and it significantly promotes strengthened cooperation at all levels between Japan and the Pacific Islands Forum.
Japan and Pacific island countries (PICs) are important, longstanding partners, sharing the Pacific Ocean and addressing common challenges.
Fiji was among the following Pacific Island countries that participated at PALM 9: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Australia and New Zealand.
In order to further enhance this partnership with the PICs, Japan has been hosting Summit-level meeting named Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) every three years since 1997.