Japan-SPF Summit Meeting: Background

(1) Japan and the members of the South Pacific Forum enjoy close relations, being bound by both historical and economic ties. This Summit aims, through discussion of issues common to Japan and the SPF, to further strengthen cooperation between the two sides.

(2) With the end of the cold war, many of the island nations of the Pacific are facing economic difficulties stemming from diminished interest and reductions in economic assistance from the nations that formerly governed them. To ameliorate this situation, they are seriously engaging in economic reform. Japan has been deeply interested in these problems and feels its proper role is to create the means to support the economic reform efforts of the Pacific island countries.

(3) The promotion of trade, investment, and tourism between the Pacific island countries and Japan through the activities of the private sector is an absolute necessity for their economic development. Japan hopes to take the opportunity of the Summit meeting to expand exchanges between Japan's private corporations and the Pacific island countries through the events sponsored by the Pacific Islands Centre, jointly established by Japan and the Forum Secretariat in October 1996.

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