TOKYO (Kyodo) — The government said Wednesday that Japan will offer grant aid of 350 million yen ($3 million) to the Federated States of Micronesia for infrastructure development as the leaders of the two countries held talks in Tokyo.
“This shows anew Japan’s commitment to supporting Micronesia’s development,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a joint press conference with President Peter Christian.
Abe also said he and Christian “confirmed the importance of a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law.” Japan is keen to maintain a shared stance on maritime security with Pacific island nations to counter China’s rising influence in the region.
The leaders agreed to do their utmost toward the success of the eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting slated for May 2018 in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. Tokyo has hosted the summit, which brings together Japan and Pacific island nations, every three years since 1997.
Abe and Christian also agreed to work in close coordination to ensure the stable operation of Japanese fishing vessels in the area and handle the remains of Japanese soldiers killed in World War II.
Micronesia, home to about 105,000 people, maintains relations with both Japan and China while its security is handled by the United States through a compact of free association. It was governed by Japan from 1920 to 1945.
Next year will mark 30 years of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Christian met Emperor Akihito on Monday and is set to leave Japan on Thursday.
Source: Google News : http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20171026/p2g/00m/0dm/074000c