"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Remarks by Mr. Kodama, Deputy Director General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, MOFA, to the Opening Session of the Preparatory Meeting for the Japan-PIF Summit Meeting

[Place] Mita House, Tokyo
[Date] March 6, 2003
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Hon. Gerald Zackios, Minister of Foreign Affairs, of the Marshall Islands,


Mr. Iosefa Maiava, Deputy Secretary-General of the PIF Secretariat,

Honorable Delegates,

Distinguished Guests,

On the occasion of the Preparatory Meeting for the 3rd Japan-PIF Summit Meeting, please allow me to say a few words of welcome on behalf of the Japanese Government. First of all, I would like to extend a very cordial welcome to all guests, including Hon. Gerald Zackios, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Marshal, as well as all the distinguished delegates, Ambassadors stationed in Tokyo. We will host the Third Japan-PIF Summit Meeting in Okinawa this coming May. While many PIF member countries have already advised us of attendance by leaders of each government, let me take this opportunity to request your kind co-operation to ensure attendance by the head of the government level to the Summit Meeting once again. Japan, as the co-chair along with Fiji, will make an every effort for a successful PALM Summit Meeting.

At the Second Summit Meeting held in Miyazaki, 2000, the then Prime Minister of Japan Mr Mori, the co-chair of the Meeting, launched the "Pacific Common Frontiers Initiative" whose key-words are "Youth", "Ocean", and "Future", and expressed his commitment to further active diplomatic relations with the Pacific Islands Countries. He also announced the "Miyazaki Initiative" to implement it. In addition, the "Miyazaki PALM Declaration" and "Statement of Environment in the Pacific", both adopted at the Second Summit Meeting, established comprehensive direction for our partnership covering a number of areas ranging from political and security issues, economy, and social dimensions. I would like to say these outcomes were well-timed at the beginning of the new century.

For the last 3 years since then, our partnership has made steady progress. A number of projects, including "Pacific Intellectual Dialogue Missions", youth exchange programs, and business mission for promoting industries in PIF Islands Countries, have been implemented. We have prepared a report of all of these follow-up programs, which is included in hand-out, so please take a look at it.

On the other hand, we see that the international community has drastically changed since the last Summit Meeting. The most dramatic change to us is, I would say two tragic incidents, the September 11th simultaneous terrorist attacks in the US, and, in the region much closer to us, the Bali bombing attack which took on 12 October 2002. These were symbolic incidents in globalised world, which made us recognise the significance of further co-operation to confront threats to our world. We need to tackle with them with very firm commitments. The globalisation has also evolved in terms of economy encouraged by factors including promotion of free trades, increasing mobility of human beings and capital across borders, and development of information and communication technologies and so on. In such a time, with recognition that the globalisation can not be reversed -indeed reversible trend-, we are really required to unite to confront issues such as poverty reduction and sustainable development. The World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa last year was an epoch-making opportunity to gather our wisdom to tackle with these challenges. Prime Minister Koizumi's message in this meeting has very significant implication to PIF member countries. In his message, Prime Minister Koizumi, putting "people" as a key factor for sustainable development, pointed out the importance of education and, as a country that experienced serious suffering from pollution during it process of economic growth in 60's and 70'S appealed for promotion of economic development and environmental conservation in harmony, which, I believe, is a must in the Pacific Islands Countries.

The aim of the Third Japan-PIF Summit Meeting, in our view, is to discuss direction of our further cooperation in the context of changing world and based on outcome of the Second Summit. We would like to place our focus on environment and education to discuss how we can translate the outcome of WSSD in the pacific islands countries, taking stocks and the suggestion of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase of Fiji, the co-chair of PALM2003.

Solving environmental and educational issues requires us very long term commitments. In order to make progresses in these areas, we need to establish clear policy goals, show firm commitments at highest political level, allocate appropriate resources available, and make concrete and steady collective efforts. As the co-chair of PALM 2003, Japan will do her best for the successful meeting.

This Preparatory Meeting is very essential to achieve such an outcome at the Summit. I will act as chair today, and, tomorrow, I understand that discussion on environmental issues will be held with participation of non-governmental sectors. I am very much looking forward to having active and fruitful discussion throughout two days deliberation and, once again, would like to ask for your co-operation for a successful preparatory meeting.