Japan commits up to 500 million US dollars for Pacific

Japan has committed to providing up to 500 million US dollars to the Pacific region over the next three years at the sixth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting in Okinawa, Japan.The amount is similar to that pledged in 2009 at the last three yearly PALM meeting.Leaders from 15 Pacific Island countries participated along with the United States which was invited for the first time.The leaders discussed ways to enhance cooperation with particular focus on response to natural disasters, climate change, sustainable development and human security.Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced an initiative to improve the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System and referred to a pilot programme for developing a catastrophe-risk insurance in cooperation with the World Bank for Forum Island Countries.The leaders reaffirmed that climate change poses one of the greatest threats to the Pacific and Mr Noda spoke of Japan’s commitment to supporting Pacific countries’ efforts in addressing environmental issues.He also announced his plan to introduce, on a bilateral basis, a new type of multiple-entry visa for short-term Forum Island country travellers.

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