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Editorial: Japan, A Positive Force In The Pacific Region

Editorial: Japan, A Positive Force In The Pacific Region
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during a press conference in Tokyo before the start of PALM8. Photo: DEPTFO News
May 18
11:01 2018

Fiji naturally values its relations with Japan – and for many good reasons.

As the eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8) proper gets underway today in Iwaki, Fukishi­ma, we can expect a renewed commitment to strengthen­ing bilateral ties and a focus on areas of mutual interest.

Japan, like other friends of Fiji, recognise and support our leadership in global initiatives and forums.

Japan’s bigger economy (the third biggest in the world) has a lot of benefits for our smaller, but growing econ­omy.

This will be made easier with the only Fiji-Japan direct flight by Fiji Airways set to start on July 3.

Flights will be scheduled for Tuesday, Friday and Sun­day every week.

The move is expected to increase business traffic and trade relations.

It also opens a direct gateway to one of the most popu­lated countries in the world. The impact is expected to go beyond more tourists visiting our shores.

Fiji Airways is offering more than 80,000 seats per year.

During their bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama acknowledged the support Japan rendered to vulnerable nations in the region.

He said Japan was a positive force in the Pacific region, with similar economic, security, environmental and po­litical interests.

Japan’s support of the COP23 Presidency was also noted along with their efforts to raise Nationally Deter­mined Contribution ambitions.

Fiji is also counting on Japan to assist in our efforts on adapting to our own climate-vulnerable economy.

The revelation yesterday that high school and primary school students from PALM countries will be invited to attend the Paralympics and Olympic Games in 2020 will further boost our bilateral relations.

With upcoming Rugby World Cup next year, we can ex­pect a close working relationship between our two rugby fraternities.

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians Rugby 15s coach John Mc­Kee visited Japan in December to carry out training site inspection for the RWC.

Our relationship with Japan is expected to flourish and be that positive force in the region.



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