NATION

Japanese Foreign Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Fiji and the Pacific

To reaffirm Japan’s commitment to Fiji and other Pacific Island nations, Mr Kono launched the JENESYS 2019 Project where young Japanese will come to the Pacific Islands as a meaningful exchange.
06 Aug 2019 14:30
Japanese Foreign Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Fiji and the Pacific
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Kono and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during their meet on August 5, 2019. Photo: DEPTFO News

After a span of 32 years, a Minister for Foreign Affairs from Japan is visiting Fiji, with plans of strengthening ties and commitment in the country.

The first Japanese Foreign Minister to come to Fiji and to other island nations in the region was Tadashi Kuranari in 1987.

Taro Kono, in the second day of his two-day visit in the country, delivered a speech at The University of the South Pacific’s ICT Centre yesterday.

To reaffirm Japan’s commitment to Fiji and other Pacific Island nations, Mr Kono launched the JENESYS 2019 Project where young Japanese will come to the Pacific Islands as a meaningful exchange.

He said this was part of Japan’s policy pillars – to co-operate with Pacific Island countries through ensuring stability and safety, supporting resilient and sustainable development and promoting active people-to-people exchange.

Through Japan’s policy pillars, Mr Kono said they would provide capacity development for maritime law enforcement for government officials from the Pacific islands, continue to provide co-operation for resilient and sustainable development in the region by boosting connectivity through quality infrastructure for the region and emphasise peoples’ exchange.

“People-to-people ties are the foundation for wonderful relations between Pacific Island countries and Japan,” Mr Kono said.

“Initiated in 2007, the JENESYS programme has been helping nourish ties between our nations through enabling visits to Japan by more than 1500 university students from the Pacific Island countries. The past and future participants in the JENESYS programme are the true bridge connecting the Pacific Islands and Japan.

“Strong ties between our young people is the key to maintaining strong and lasting relations.

“I am therefore pleased to announce that Japan will be inviting a total of 100 children from all over the Pacific Island region to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.

“We will also provide co-operation for the resumption of Japanese language courses here at USP.”

He acknowledged Fiji in hosting the big Asian Development Bank General Meeting this year and Fiji’s COP23 presidency.

He said they “… are all prime examples of the increasing international role of this region,” he said.

He urged Pacific Island nation leaders to work together for a better future.

“A future that is active, full of opportunities and innovative (AOI). An AOI future in the Pacific which means Blue in the Japanese language.”
Meet with PM

During a meeting with the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday, Mr Bainimarama acknowledged the support by the Japanese Government in Fiji’s development agenda.

They included projects like the Nadi River diversion, Tamavua-i-Wai bridge and rehabilitation of schools post Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: eliza.kukutu@fijisun.com.fj

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