PM Puna travelling to Japan

Monday May 14, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Prime minister Henry Puna and Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe during PALM 7 in 2015. PHOTO: MFAI. 18051161 Prime minister Henry Puna and Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe during PALM 7 in 2015. PHOTO: MFAI. 18051161

Prime minister Henry Puna will attend the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) being held next week in Fukushima, Japan.

 

The Cook Islands originally established diplomatic relations with Japan in 2011 and have continued to strengthen these relations “in a range of areas” since then.

Japan has also provided support for a number of projects in the Cook Islands.

The Tei Muri Motia Volunteer Fire Rescue Station, Te Kainga O Pa Taunga Mental Health, and Apii Te Uki Ou have all benefitted from Japanese aid.

The Cook Islands has also seen a 64 per cent increase in the number of Japanese visitors coming to these shores.

The PALM meeting happens once every three years and sees leaders from throughout the Pacific congregate to discuss issues within the region.

It is expected the topic of China’s growing influence in the Pacific will be a main discussion point at this meeting.

The various delegates will have an opportunity to meet jointly with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, as well as with other various heads of Japanese businesses.

It is believed trade and investment opportunities will be explored, alongside the possibilities of mutual assistance in areas such as tourism, agriculture, and fisheries.

The Japanese and Cook Islands governments are also increasing their cooperative efforts on matters of mutual interest, including the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“There is however scope for further mutually beneficial cooperation and the Cook Islands will be looking to advance this at next week’s meeting,” said a release from the Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI).

Prime minister Henry Puna will lead the Cook Islands delegation, supported by foreign secretary Tepaeru Herrmann. All costs for the delegation’s attendance of PALM 8 are covered by the government of Japan.

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