Pacific, Japan Meeting Focuses On Environment, Development Issues

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Sixth PALM summit to take place in Okinawa

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 17, 2012) – Responding to natural disasters is among major issues that will be discussed during the Sixth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting, PALM6, in Nago City, Okinawa from May 25-26. The Japanese Ambassador to Tonga, HE Mr. Yasuo Takase, told the Tongan Media this morning that following the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent tsunami last year, Japan is eager to share its experiences with the Pacific.

HE Mr. Yasuo Takase said that major issues that will be discussed during the PALM6 Summit include the environment and climate change, sustainable development based upon human security, people to people exchanges and maritime issues.

PALM6 will be co-chaired by Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Hon Henry Puna, the Prime Minister of Cook Islands and chair of the Pacific Islands Forum.

This year's PALM Summit brings together leaders from 16 Pacific Island countries including Tonga's Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano, with representatives from Australia, New Zealand and the Untied States.

He said Tonga has always participated in PALM meetings since the first PALM meeting in 1997. A PALM meeting is held every three years, with the objective of building close cooperative relationships, and to strengthen bond of friendship between Japan and Pacific Island countries.

Activities

Other Tongan representatives who will attend other related meetings to be held concurrently wit PALM6, including Young PALM attended by high school students, Mosese Uili of Tonga College and 'Ilaisaane Namoa of Queen Salote College in Miyakojima city, Okinawa from May 21-27.

A Journalist Invitation Program from May 21-27 will be represented by Telesia Adams, Editor Taimi 'o Tonga Newspaper among other Pacific journalists.

It is understood journalists will visit Hisanohama District, a tsunami hit area in Iwaki City located on the southern part of the Hamadori coastal region of Fukushima Prefecture.

In addition, is an Eco-Island Symposium in Okinawa on May 23 to be attended by 'Asipeli Palaki CEO of Ministry of Lands, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, with four other officials.

A Pacific Islands Exhibition & Festa 2012 will be held in Tokyo from May 24-28 in Tokyo, and will be attended by Sione Maileseni from John's Handicrafts.

While 'Akau'ola, the Interim Director of Tonga's Energy Roadmap TERM will attend a Japan and IRENA Workshop on "accelerating renewable energy deployment in the Pacific Island countries and meeting the challenges", in Okinawa on May 26.

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