Solomon Islands and Japan have reaffirmed their bilateral cooperation during a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his Japanese counterpart Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide early this month.

The virtual meeting that connected the two leaders from Honiara and Tokyo was held before the Pacific Islands Leader Meeting (PALM 9) with Japan on Friday 2 July.

At the meeting, the two Leaders discuss common issues of concern and the Prime Minister of Japan outlined the Pacific Bond Kizuna policy to strengthen the linkage and connection between Pacific Island countries and Japan when he announced that the “Pacific Island countries are indispensable partners for Japan”.

On the support towards COVID-19, Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to assist Solomon Islands in its response to COVID-19. Japan has offered to provide AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Japan through the COVAX facility once approved by WHO.

In its ongoing bilateral development assistance, Japan will provide solar powered streetlights with the aim of contributing towards Solomon Islands climate action as well as continuing its support for the upgrading of the Honiara International Airport and the Phase 2 of the Kukum Highway project.

Prime Minister Sogavare further acknowledge the ongoing support provided by Japan through bilateral and multilateral assistance.

“The relationship between the Pacific Island countries and Japan is very important at this time to advance our development aspirations moving forward, and we look forward to working very closely with Japan,” Sogavare said.

Prime Minister Sogavare reiterates that Solomon Islands will continue to work with Japan on areas of mutual benefit and assured Prime Minister Yoshihide of Solomon Islands support for Japan in international forums.

Source: GCU