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RAROTONGA (July 1, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS) ---The leaders of 14 Pacific Islands nations are being invited by the Japanese government to a first-ever summit meeting in Tokyo on October 13 and 14.

Cook Islands government spokesperson, Tap Pryor, has confirmed that the special meeting is scheduled, but says, as yet, formal invitations have not been sent to the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the independent Pacific Islands region nations.

Pryor said that Cook Islands Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry will take part in a July 15 meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to the Cooks, Tetsuya Endo, to discuss summit meeting agenda items.

Japan continues to be one of the key aid donors to Pacific Islands countries. It is anticipated that the Japanese government is calling the summit to introduce new assistance initiatives and to strengthen its image as a strong supporter of Pacific Islands development.

The last international summit meeting of Pacific Islands leaders, called by former US President George Bush, took place at Hawaii's East-West Center during October 1990. That meeting resulted in establishment of the United States - Pacific Islands Nations Joint Commercial Commission within the Center's Pacific Islands Development Program.

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