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20-year deal pegged at $100 billion

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 31, 2010) - The Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare met his counterpart Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in Tokyo last night.

Prime Minister Somare is currently in Japan on an official working visit and held bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Hatoyama as well as officiating at the opening of the new PNG Chancery and inaugurating the second Air Niugini flight to Narita.

The two leaders covered various areas in their discussion including PNG liquid natural gas (LNG) projects, trade, investment and economic relations, environment and climate change and international co-operation.

Sir Michael said relations between the two countries were reaching new heights spurred by Japanese interest in the gas commercialization program.

"As you know in December last year, my country achieved the Final Investment Decision on our first LNG project," he said.

Sir Michael told his counterpart that as a direct result of this project, PNG would experience rapid development that would transform the lives of Papua new Guineans and provide greater co-operation in the fields of economy, energy and environment for Japan. He said Tokyo Electric Power Company and Osaka Gas would buy more than 50 per cent of PNG’s LNG export and make PNG one of the largest "Clean Energy" suppliers to Japan over a 20 year period at the value of US$100 billion. On environment and climate Change, Sir Michael said the partnership between the two countries would deliver clean energy through the LNG Project and was consistent with their strong support for the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord.

Sir Michael said that Japan continued to provide support to developing countries under the Hatoyama initiative with $US15 billion over the next three years towards adaptation of mitigation of the effects of climate change.

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