By: L.N. Reklai

Japan and Pacific Island leaders in a joint declaration after the recently concluded PALM 8 Summit in Japan called for greater capacity enhancement of Pacific Island countries maritime security capabilities.

Under four guiding statements, maintaining stability through rules-based order, Pursuit of enduring prosperity, Strengthening the flow of and exchanges between peoples, and Supporting regional cooperation and integration, Japan offered to support the capacity building of the Pacific island countries people, facilities and infrastructure in support of stronger maritime law enforcement, maritime security and maritime order based on rule of law.

In his statement at the PALM 8 Summit on May 19, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that Japan “place emphasis on establishing the rule of law in the maritime order.”

Furthermore, Abe added that “Japan will be unstinting in its assistance towards improving countries’ capacity to protect the sea including each country’s legal enforcement capabilities.”

Leaders reiterated their support for Japan’s bid to become a permanent member of United Nation’s Security Council.   They also expressed shared interest in maintaining UN presence in the Pacific region.

The declaration also called for commitment toward implementation of the various development commitments toward achieving sustainable development and addressing climate change.

Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s continued support to FIC’s efforts to achieve low carbon development through continued “Hybrid islands Program”.

The leaders acknowledged the potential of the utilization of Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) in Palau to be applied in other Pacific island countries as well as the value of the Japanese Technical Cooperative Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management in the Pacific Island countries (J-PRISM) in sustainably managing solid waste and reducing land based sources of pollution.