22 May 2009

Pacific leaders to meet with Japan Prime Minister on aid

8:01 am on 22 May 2009

Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso is expected to announce expansion of clean energy aid and projects to reduce vulnerability to climate change in the Pacific islands at today's opening of the Pacific Leaders Meeting in Hokkaido.

He is also expected to provide details of stepped-up aid for "human security" projects in the region, including provision of water-related assistance, and people-to-people exchanges.

Aside from a session late this afternoon and two sessions Saturday morning involving all the leaders, Aso will hold one-on-one meetings with heads of state from six of the islands on Friday afternoon where leaders from the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Nauru, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands and Tonga are expected to pitch a variety of projects to Aso seeking Japan aid.

Niue Island Premier Toke Talagi, who chairs the Pacific Islands Forum, says he is happy to see PALM developing concrete partnerships with Japan.