June 08, 2015

By FSM Information Services
The Kaselehlie Press

May 29, 2015 President Peter M. Christian visited Japan from 20th to 23rd of May to attend the 7th Japan-Pacific Islands Leaders' Summit (PALM 7) along with other leaders and representatives of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) countries. This was his first overseas visit soon after taking office as the 8th President of the Federated States of Micronesia.

At the PALM 7, co-chaired by Japan and the Republic of Palau, the leaders reaffirmed their continued commitment and cooperation to strengthen the mutual trust and friendship which have been nurtured particularly through the summit arrangements since it started in 1997.

Under the PALM 7, the "Fukushima Iwaki Declaration", outlined seven priority areas as the basis for implementing and enhancing cooperation for the next three years. Japan pledged over 55 billion yen worth of assistance to address these seven priority areas outlined in the declaration which are: 1) disaster risk reduction; 2) climate change; 3)environment; 4) peopleto- people exchanges; 5) sustainable development which includes human resource development; 6) oceans, maritime issues and fisheries; 7) trade, investment and tourism. In addition, Japan will also provide assistance for human resource development and people-to-people exchange of 4,000 people between the Forum Island Countries and Japan over the next three years.

At the end of the two-day Summit meeting in Fukushima, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo expressed his commitment to pursuing a new vision of Japan's diplomacy toward the Pacific island countries, "A Beacon for Diplomacy toward the PICs". A commitment based on shared values and rule of law through interactive partnership with aim of ensuring peace and prosperity in the Pacific region.

At Iwaki City of Fukushima Prefecture the President held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss important issues of the two countries.

As part of the Summit programs, delegates from PIF countries also participated in the official opening of the PIF Exhibition organized by Japan External Trade Organization

(JETRO) and the Pacific Island Centre (PIC) at JETRO Headquarter where other side events and symposiums were held. While in Tokyo, the President and representative of PIF countries were invited to an afternoon tea with Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress along with members of the Imperial Family. A welcoming reception was also hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The President's delegation to PALM 7 comprised of Mr. Lorin Robert Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Andrew Yatilman Director of the Office of Environment and Emergency Management, Mr. Ricky Carl of The Nature Conservancy , and Ambassador John Fritz and Attaché Kunio Suenaga from the FSM Embassy in Japan.