Foreign Minister Hayashi’s Meeting with the Delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
February 6, 2023
On February 6, commencing at 11:00 a.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting with the delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), led by Hon. Mark BROWN，Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. Hon. Henry PUNA, Secretary General of the PIF Secretariat also attended the meeting. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the outset, Minister Hayashi stated that he welcomed the delegation of the PIF, which has been a close partner for Japan for over 20 years, and that PIF has been playing an important role in promoting an effective cooperation with the whole Pacific Island countries region through the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) process. In response, the PIF side expressed its appreciation to Japan, which is its important partner, for the warm welcome extended to the delegation.
- Minister Hayashi expressed strong support for “The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent" announced by the PIF last year. Minister Hayashi also stated that Japan would continue to cooperate with the Pacific Island countries respecting the Pacific Island countries’ own agenda, and making use of Japan’s strength.
- Both sides discussed issues of the security environment including climate change, and sea level rise. Minister Hayashi stated that Japan would strengthen its support to the Pacific Island countries region in the area of climate change. Minister Hayashi also stated that, with regard to climate-change-related sea-level rise, Japan has decided to take the position that it is permissible to preserve the existing baselines and maritime zones established in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), notwithstanding the regression of coastlines and the PIF side welcomed Japan’s decision. Both sides concurred on continuing cooperation on this front.
- Minister Hayashi emphasized the importance of revitalizing Fukushima Prefecture and explained that discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea would be conducted while firmly ensuring no harm to the environment and human health based on the PALM 9 commitment. Minister Hayashi also explained that the discharge would be conducted in accordance with domestic and international safety standards, and Japan will conduct monitoring prior to and after the discharge under reviews by the IAEA, and make the information available in a transparent manner. Both sides concurred in the importance of the intensive dialogue.