By: L.N. Reklai

(Tokyo, Japan) Japan has spent over 55 billion yen or over $500 million USD in the Pacific Island countries in past 3 years after the last PALM 7 Summit says Japan’s Foreign Ministry official this week.

“We expect that this next 3 years to expend more than we did in the last 3 years,” added the official, in line with the new Japan’s Open and Free Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Funds were expended on projects in priority areas agreed by Pacific leaders during the last PALM 7 Summit in 2015; Disaster Risk Reduction; Climate Change; Environment; People-to-People Exchanges; Sustainable Development; Oceans, Maritime Issues and Fisheries; and Trade, Investment and Tourism.

In line with the new strategy, Japan will support projects addressing climate change, capacity building in governments, development of ports, and promotion of public-private exchanges, renewable energy, training on maritime security and others.  Areas of priorities will be set this week during PALM 8 Summit between Japan and its island country partners.