Courtesy Call on Prime Minister SOGAVARE of Solomon Islands by Foreign Minister HAYASHI
On March 19, commencing at 11:20 a.m. local time (On March 19, at 9:20 a.m. JST) for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who was visiting Solomon Islands, paid a courtesy call on Hon. Manasseh Damukana SOGAVARE, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the outset, Minister Hayashi explained that Japan and Solomon Islands are important friends connected by the Pacific Ocean and that Japan has consistently endeavored to promote friendship and goodwill with Solomon Islands after the war. Prime Minister Sogavare expressed his great appreciation for Japan’s friendly attitude.
- Minister Hayashi stated that for more than 20 years, Japan has supported Pacific Island countries, including Solomon Islands, to address various challenges through the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) process and expressed readiness for further cooperation in the field of unexploded ordnance disposal and maritime security. Prime Minister Sogavare reiterated his gratitude for Japan’s support in various fields such as infrastructure including Honiara International Airport, and healthcare, and the two sides concurred to follow up future cooperation between the two governments.
- Minister Hayashi explained that under the most severe and complex security environment surrounding Japan in the postwar era, Japan formulated a new National Security Strategy at the end of last year to fundamentally strengthen its defense capabilities and enhance support in the field of climate change, cooperating with developing countries including Pacific Island countries.
- Minister Hayashi stated that Japan would promote a wide range of transparent and inclusive cooperation with Pacific Island countries toward the realization of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” and the two sides confirmed further strengthening of cooperation.
- Minister Hayashi, regarding the discharge of ALPS treated water, explained that protecting the maritime environment of the Pacific Ocean as our common asset is the responsibility that Japan bears to the international community and Japan would conduct the discharge of ALPS treated water after firmly ensuring that there is no harm to the environment and human health, as Japan committed at PALM 9. On this occasion, Minister Hayashi handed over to Prime Minister Sogavare a letter from Prime Minister Kishida showing Japan’s position on strengthening bilateral relationship and the discharge of ALPS treated water. In response, Prime Minister Sogavare stated that he appreciated Japan’s explanation and expected that Japan would continue to provide information in a transparent manner and that the safety would be scientifically ensured including through reviews by IAEA.
- The two sides discussed diversifying security and development partners and Minister Hayashi expressed his strong support for the principle of "Family First" that security and public safety issues should first be addressed by the whole region. In addition, Minister Hayashi stated that Japan was closely watching the last year's security cooperation agreement between Solomon Islands and China and he expressed Japan’s candid views about the long-term development of Solomon Islands as well as maintenance of its self-reliance. In response, Prime Minister Sogavare stated that the peace and security of the region was most important and explained about Solomon’s position.
- The two sides confirmed their cooperation at the Ministerial Interim Meeting of PALM to be held this year toward the PALM 10 to be held next year.