Japan Positive on Proposals from PNG Foreign Minister
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE
Office of the Minister
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has responded positively to proposals from PNG’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, Hon. Rimbink Pato, to address illegal fishing in the Pacific Ocean and to assist with improved air transport in the region.
Speaking at a working dinner for Pacific Island Forum leaders in association with the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Abe acknowledged the issues raised by Mr Poto and said increased cooperation on coastal guard vessel surveillance would address the need to monitor and control maritime waters to combat illegal fishing.
The Japanese leader also directly addressed the airline connectivity issue by stating that improvements would be further discussed by aviation officials from Japan and Papua New Guinea.
At the dinner, Mr Pato also made representations to Mr Abe on other key issues for PNG and the Pacific after first commending Japan for being a genuine and trustworthy development partner for the Pacific Island countries.
Mr Pato praised the assistance provided by the Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation, a Japanese non-profit organisation, in such areas as fisheries training, refurbishment of fisheries stations, procurement of equipment and technical advice.
Mr Pato and the Pacific Island Forum leaders condemned North Korea’s recent firing of missiles over Japan as a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and as reckless behavior seriously threatening peace and security in the region.
Conveying Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s invitation to Mr Abe to attend the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby in 2018, Mr Poto took the opportunity to express appreciation to Japan for assisting PNG in logistical support, capacity building and institutional strengthening.
Among Japan’s contributions to APEC are the donation of 23 micro-buses, 23 mini-buses and 22 ambulances, and the provision of musical instruments and training for the PNGDF military band for ceremonial performances at the leaders’ summit.