SOLOMONS SWITCH STANCE TO SUPPORT JAPAN WHALING

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 20) – Solomon Islands has reported changed its position on an international whaling moratorium and is now backing Japan’s position for an end to the 20-year moratorium.

Earlier this month, the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza, said his government would abstain from voting at the International Whaling Commission’s meeting in South Korea.

Kemakeza gave the assurance after talks with the Australian environment minister in Honiara; but the New Zealand conservation minister, who is in South Korea, now says Solomon Islands will join Tuvalu and Kiribati in supporting the Japanese position.

Meanwhile in Honiara, Kemakeza has restated that Solomon Islands will support Japan in various international forums to reciprocate for Tokyo’s financial assistance.

He made the statement at the launch of a restoration project at Honiara’s international airport, to which Japan will contribute more than US$1 million.

June 21, 2005

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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