Japan launches $450m aid program


JICA's Masayoshi Ono and Takashi Toyama.
JICA’s Masayoshi Ono and Takashi Toyama.

With the hosting of a Pacific Islands Tourism Ministers meeting in Tokyo Sunday, Japan has begun launching a promised US$450 million aid package for the Pacific region.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced at the PALM7 Pacific leaders summit held in Japan in May that his government would provide 55 billion yen (US$458,150,000) over the next three years to its Pacific neighbors in seven major focus areas ranging from climate and disaster risk response to fisheries and trade. Briefing a team of Pacific media representatives last week in Tokyo, Japan government representatives said the new three-year aid program is already underway.
Fulfilling one of the objectives of the PALM7 summit, tourism ministers from 13 island nations gathered in Tokyo last weekend to discuss opportunities with Japan. R&D Minister Mike Konelios represented the RMI at the Tokyo tourism talks. Although details of the discussions were not made public, officials said the talks focused on how Japan can help boost tourism opportunities in the region.
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