14 Feb 2012

Japan yet to say if Fiji will be at its summit in Okinawa

3:44 pm on 14 February 2012

Japan says Fiji's attendance at its high level three-yearly summit with Pacific Island leaders has not yet been confirmed.

The Sixth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting is due to be held in Okinawa in late May.

A counsellor at the Japanese Embassy in Suva, Takeshi Tanabe, confirmed that Fiji's attendance remains a sensitive issue and an official at Japan's Foreign Ministry says decisions are still being made about the meeting.

Three years ago, Commodore Frank Bainimarama was snubbed because only weeks earlier the Fiji regime had dumped the constitution after the appeal court ruled that his interim government was illegal.

The Cook Islands is to jointly chair this year's meeting with Japan.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jim Gosselin says Pacific Island countries are yet to receive official invitations to the meeting.

He says Pacific Island countries are mostly represented by their leaders and Fiji's Foreign Minister has attended in the past.

Mr Gosselin says this year's summit would include issues of co-operation, renewable energy and disaster relief.