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PRESS STATEMENT April 15, 2002


Japan has handed over US$ 401,000 (FJ$ 843,000) towards the funding of the 2002 work program of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, taking Japan's annual contributions to US$ 6.1 million since it began contributing to the Secretariat's work in 1996.

Japan's Suva-based charge d'affaires, Mr. Masaaki Takada, presented the funds to the Deputy Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat, Mr. Iosefa Maiava, during a meeting today at the Secretariat.

"Japan is a major partner in the region's development program, and our strong relationship is reflected in the 1997 and 2000 meetings of Japanese and Pacific Islands Forum Leaders," Mr. Maiava said.

"We are very grateful to Japan for their continued support of Forum-related projects on behalf of our member states. We also look forward to further cooperation with Japan on the region's development priorities," he said.

The latest contribution from Japan will be used on the following projects:

1. Specialized Technical Assistance Programs USD 90,000 2. Forum Aviation Action Policy Plan USD 74,000 3. Forum Communications Action Plan USD 13,000 4. Marketing Support Fund USD 58,000 5. SME Policy Development USD 20,000 6. WTO Active Engagement USD 66,000 7. Alcohol & Tobacco into PICTA Study USD 20,000 8. Legal Drafting Assistance USD 45,000 9. Japan Forum Relations USD 32,000 10. Assistance Scheme for Law Enforcement USD 53,600 11. Workshops on Honiara Declaration USD 15,000

Japan's assistance to Forum members through the Forum Secretariat is in three main forms:

1. The Japan-Forum Partnership Program

The US$1 million Partnership Program is used to fund projects that:

* promote intellectual and cultural exchanges between Japan and Forum Island Countries (FICs)

* promote dialogue between Japan and the Forum Secretariat on issues pertaining to regional cooperation and organizations; and

* promote exchanges at all levels, including grassroots level between Japan and FICs.

2. Pacific Islands Development Cooperation Fund

In 2001, the US$10 million Pacific Islands Development Cooperation Fund was established to promote cooperation for the development of Pacific Island Countries in fields such as environment, energy and tourism. The principal is kept intact while the interest each year is used to finance projects.

3. Japan Annual Contribution to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

The Government of Japan has made annual contributions to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat's work program since 1996. It is the third largest donor to the Secretariat's annual work program after the developed country Forum members Australia and New Zealand.

The following priorities are considered for funding under Japan's annual contribution:

(i) marketing, investment and trade promotion (ii) tourism promotion (iii) environment conservation (iv) information technology promotion (v) human security (vi) economic and social development (vii) human resources development (viii) law enforcement assistance (ix) trade policy advisory services (x) international relations advisory services (xi) development cooperation advisory services

For additional information, contact: Ulafala Aiavao at UlafalaA@forumsec.org.fj 

Ulafala Aiavao Media Adviser Forum Secretariat Private Bag Suva, Fiji

Tel: (679) 220 220 Mob: (679) 998 674 Fax: (679) 305 554 Email: UlafalaA@forumsec.org.fj  Web: www.forumsec.org.fj  Mirror site: http://chacmool.sdnp.undp.org/pacific/forumsec/default1.htm 

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