Japanese leader eager to enhance bilateral relations with PNG

Islands Business:

Thursday, 10 July 2014

PORT MORESBY,PNG--- Japan has been providing economic assistance to Papua New Guinea since 1974 to the tune of approximately K3.75 billion (US$1.3 billion) and is willing to continue that help into the future.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed this in an interview with the Post-Courier saying his visit to PNG is to mark Japan’s commitment to the Pacific Island nation in the last 40 years and into the future.

"I as the Prime Minister of Japan, would like to express Japan’s intention to move forward our bilateral relation from a donor-recipient relation to an equal partner to tackle common agenda based on enhancing the bilateral economic relations between two countries.

"I am very impressed by the remarkable social and economic progress of this country since my first visit to this country about 30 years ago.

"I witnessed that the people and Government of PNG made utmost efforts to utilise Japan’s official development contributing to the improvement of living standard of its people.

"I would like to express my willingness to support for the further development of Papua New Guinea in the future.

"I also would like to express Japan’s determination to even more active contribute to ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the international community including the Pacific regions, together with the people and the Government of Papua New Guinea."

"In addition, around 600 volunteers of both Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and senior volunteers have been working together for the development of this country with the people of PNG."

He said Japan has been supporting self-reliance and sustainable development of Papua New Guinea through official development assistances in areas such as:

Infrastructure development and its maintenance;
Education and medical care;
Cooperation for the improvement of agriculture sector and other sectors;
Cooperation for improvement of the sewage disposal system and forest preservation.

"Since the 1970s, Japan, as a friend of PNG, provided long-standing assistance to this country through development assistance in areas such as socio-economic and human resources development on the occasion of high-level mutual visits and international conferences such as the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting," he said.

Prime Minister Abe said in recent years, PNG has been expanding its production capacity to be the largest supplier of natural resources to Japan in the Pacific countries.

"Japan depends heavily on the supply of energy from other countries," he said.

"The supply of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from this country contributes positively to Japan’s energy security as it helps diversify supply sources.

"Therefore, the Government of Japan regards the LNG development project as one of the priority areas of our bilateral cooperation. 

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