Prime Minister Abe Receives a Courtesy Call from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism of Tonga
On May 19, commencing at 4:50 p.m. for approximately 15 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, received a courtesy call from the Hon. Semisi Kioa Lafu Sika, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism of the Kingdom of Tonga, who is staying in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, to attend the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8). The overview is as follows.
- Prime Minister Abe welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Sika to Japan, along with once again expressing sympathy over the damage caused by Cyclone Gita, which struck Tonga in February this year. Prime Minister Abe also stated that at the earlier PALM8 it was possible to hold meaningful discussions on challenges affecting the region such as assuring the safety of the oceans, improving maritime security, capacity building of maritime safety, climate change and disaster prevention. In addition, Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan will continue to contribute to Tonga's sustainable development through approximately 2.8 billion yen of grant aid relating to the development of a wireless early warning system for national disasters, for which a signing ceremony was held on May 16.
- In response, Deputy Prime Minister Sika expressed gratitude for the various support Japan has extended thus far, including the grant aid that was signed recently, and explained that Japan's support contributed significantly to Tonga's recovery from the Cyclone Gita damage.
- Prime Minister Abe stated that he hopes to collaborate and cooperate with Tonga on the basis of the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy," and the two sides shared the view that they will continue to hold discussions.
- Prime Minister Abe requested cooperation with promptly resolving the abductions issue. In addition, the two leaders exchanged views on challenges and cooperation in the international community, such as in the area of sports and climate change, and on regional affairs, including North Korea.