Peters welcomes Japanese commitment to the Pacific
Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs
28 May 2006
Peters welcomes renewed Japanese commitment to the Pacific
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed Japan’s renewed engagement with the Pacific, following his attendance at the fourth Japan-Pacific Islands Forum (PALM) Summit in Okinawa, Japan.
“Japan’s generous new commitments to the developing Pacific Islands are very welcome. We have also been impressed by Japan’s desire to work closely with us and other major donors to coordinate our efforts in the region’s interest,” Mr Peters said.
Japan has undertaken to provide more than US$400 million worth of development assistance to the Pacific over the next three years, most of it as grant aid. This is a substantial increase on the current level of Japan’s ODA to the Pacific.
“Outside donors have a very important role to play in providing the Pacific island countries with the resources they need to be able to take charge of their own future development. New Zealand has significantly increased its aid to the Pacific in the last few years, most recently in Budget 2006, and it is encouraging to see Japan responding to the region’s challenges with a major boost to their aid effort," said Mr Peters.
The meeting also provided an opportunity for Mr Peters to brief Pacific Island Forum Leaders on the crisis in East Timor, and New Zealand’s response to it.