25 May 2009

Japan increases aid to Pacific after PALM meeting in Hokkaido

11:13 am on 25 May 2009

Japan has called climate change a "life and death" problem for

Pacific islands, as it announced an increase in aid to the region to US$527 million over the next three years.

Japan Prime Minister, Taro Aso, announced the aid plans, an increase of more than 10 percent over the last three years, at the closing of the Pacific Leaders Meeting in Hokkaido

Mr Aso said Japan wants to use what it calls its "leading edge technology" to help Pacific island nations facing rising sea levels from global warming.

Niue's Premier Toke Talagi, who co-chaired the PALM meeting with Mr Aso, said the island nations hoped that countries know it is necessary to act now to slow the climate change cycle and help the earth survive.

A spokesman for Mr Aso said about US$66 million will be injected

into the Pacific Islands Forum.