"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] Chairs' Summary of the PALM Second Ministerial Interim Meeting

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] October 26, 2013
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. The PALM Second Ministerial Interim Meeting was held in Tokyo and in Sendai, Japan, on 26 October 2013 in order to follow up on the outcomes of the Sixth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 6) as well as to prepare for PALM 7.

2. The Meeting was attended by representatives from Japan and 16 Pacific Island Forum (PIF) member countries, as well as the PIF Secretariat. The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Hon. Mr. Phillip H. Muller, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, as Pacific Islands Forum Chair.

3. The Ministers extended their gratitude to Sendai City and Matsushima Town for their cooperation in arranging the programmes in the Tohoku region. The Ministers also expressed their appreciation to the Pacific Islands Centre (PIC) and the PIF Secretariat for their input and contribution to the meeting.

4. The Ministers reaffirmed that Japan and Pacific Island Countries are natural and important partners, sharing not only geographical characteristics as island States embraced by the Pacific Ocean but also similar challenges including natural disasters, climate change and sustainable development. They also acknowledged that their relationships are deeply underpinned by historical bonds and close cooperation in a wide range of areas.

5. The Ministers welcomed the success of the Forty-Forth Pacific Islands Forum in Majuro on 3-5 September 2013 under the strong leadership of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Chairmanship, and confirmed their cooperation for the next PIF meeting in 2014 under the Republic of Palau Chairmanship.

6. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of promoting coordination between the Pacific Islands Forum and the PALM process to further enhance cooperation for the Pacific region, as stipulated in paragraph 55 of the Forum Communiqué following the Forty-Fourth Pacific Islands Forum in Majuro on 3-5 September 2013. The Ministers reaffirmed Japan's significantly deeper and wider engagement with the Forum as an Island Country sharing the Pacific Ocean, and recommended that this matter be considered further, including examination of options available for Japan's possible membership of the PIF. In line with efforts to further strengthen cooperation and integration within the region, the Ministers underlined the importance of effective coordination between the PIF and other frameworks and processes in the region.

7. The Ministers welcomed Japan's report,as attached, on the implementation of its commitments made at PALM 6 mainly in the areas of (1) response to natural disasters, (2) environment and climate change, (3) sustainable development and human security such as health and education amounting to approximately 445 million US dollars out of 500 million US dollars committed by the "Okinawa Kizuna Declaration" at PALM 6, as shown in the attached report. The Ministers welcomed Japan's continued commitment to assisting the efforts of Pacific Island Countries in their endeavour towards self-sustained lasting development in the spirit of mutually active partnership. Pacific Island Countries extended their appreciation for Japan's steady implementation of its commitment of assistance, which has supported their own notable efforts to further their countries' sustainable development. The Ministers also acknowledged the important role that the Pacific Plan has played in capturing development aspirations that require action at the regional level and setting out priorities for regional integration and cooperation. The Ministers appreciated Japan's efforts to work concurrently with such endeavours.

8. The Ministers reconfirmed the significance of promoting people-to-people exchanges in the region, particularly among the young people, including such initiatives as the "KIZUNA" project, and "JENESYS 2.0" for secondary and University.

9. Regarding visa facilitation for promoting people-to-people exchanges and business transactions, Japan announced, as a pioneering model case and on a reciprocal basis, the issuance of a multiple-entry visa for short-term stay for ordinary passport holders of Papua New Guinea on 25 November 2013, as well as the intention of Japan and Papua New Guinea to further advance their preparatory process to introduce visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders on a reciprocal basis.

10. The Ministers reaffirmed that climate change poses one of the greatest threats to the life, survival, security and well-being of the people of the Pacific. Ministers welcomed Japan's serious and earnest consideration of the "Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership" adopted at the 44th Pacific Islands Forum and undertook to work closely towards the success of the United Nations Secretary General's Leaders Summit on Climate Change in September 2014 and the development of a sufficiently ambitious legally binding agreement applicable to all Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 2015 in Paris. To this end, the Ministers emphasised the strategic opportunity for the Pacific region presented by a successful third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to be held in Samoa in 2014.

11. Ministers reaffirmed the value of the Pacific Ocean to their livelihood, food security, sustainable development and security. They recalled the Rio+20 outcomes on oceans in The Future We Want, and concurred to collaborate together to ensuring a sustainable, viable and secure Pacific Ocean and reiterated their commitment to its sustainable management and conservation through the Pacific Oceanscape and other initiatives under the Pacific Regional Oceans Policy. They further reiterated the importance of maximising and securing the long-term flow of benefits from the region's fisheries resources through enhanced participation of Forum Island Countries (FICs) in the industry and welcomed Japan's support towards these efforts.

12. The Ministers welcomed the promulgation of the new constitution by the government of the Republic of Fiji as an important step in Fiji's return to democracy, and looked forward to a successful , free and fair general election in 2014. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of Fiji's successful general elections as well as their renewed participation in regional fora for the unity of the region.

13. The Ministers reviewed progress on the implementation of the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund and committed to expediting the completion of projects in all participating countries so as to promote renewable energy and clean water in the Pacific Islands region. Pacific Ministers expressed their sincere desire that Japan replenish the fund as well as expand its scope to cover various areas in line with the needs of FICs, building upon the first phase and the different levels of socioeconomic development and capacity challenges.

14. The Ministers confirmed the need to further support Pacific Island Countries in their efforts to strengthen climate change and disaster risk reduction capacities in the region, including to reduce risks from tsunamis, particularly tsunami prevention and early warning systems. In this regard, the Ministers highly valued the Japan / New Zealand initiative to share lessons from recent work in strengthening tsunami risk management and Japan's planned experts' conference on tsunami warning to be held in Samoa in 2014, facilitated by relevant regional organisations, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The Ministers recognised the importance of strengthening international cooperation in disaster risk reduction towards the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan in March 2015.

15. The Ministers reaffirmed the crucial importance of promoting trade and investment in the region as an indispensible basis for Pacific Island Countries' economic growth and vitality, and reinforced their commitment to build regional frameworks for increased trade and investment with Japan, while maximising the use of PIC office in Tokyo in this regard. The Ministers appreciated Japan's active support for such endeavours, including the planned working-level officials' workshop on regional trade facilitation and investment promotion within the youth administrators training programme to be held in early December 2013 in Tokyo.

16. The Ministers shared the view on the significance of advancing studies and policy endeavors for small dispersed islands' economy building and industrialisation in the region, particularly on the need to tackle such islands' challenges and to draw up policy guidance. In this regard, the Ministers expressed their particular appreciation for the study on perspectives of economic development in the small island states by a team of experts' engaged by the Japan Pacific Islands Association, as attached, generously supported by PIC office in Tokyo, as well as the study on trade facilitation and investment promotion in the region done by the PIF Secretariat. The Ministers also welcomed the planned symposium on island countries' trade promotion including product promotion for island communities, focusing upon agricultural and fisheries commercialisation, to be held in Tonga, as a useful model, in the first half of 2014.

17. The Ministers reconfirmed the importance of tourism for economic promotion and people-to-people exchange in the region, seeking ways and means for tourist promotion by sharing experience and successful practice. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed Japan's long lasting support towards the development of high quality infrastructure, especially to secure transport links to promote tourism in the region. Ministers also welcomed Japan's proposal to work with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in cooperation with the PIF Secretariat through PIC and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) to organise a Pacific Islands Tourism Ministers Meeting to be held in Japan in 2014 so as to promote tourism in the region. In this regard, the Ministers also confirmed their support and cooperation for the designation of distinguished island-based natural and cultural sites in the region as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage sites, such as the Nan Madol ruins in the Federated States of Micronesia.

18. The Ministers reiterated their intention to tackle common concerns in the region for enhancing peace and stability, and particularly reaffirmed the ongoing threats posed by Unexploded Ordnance(UXO) in the Pacific region.

19. The Ministers reaffirmed common values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and committed to working together to enhance transparency, predictability and accountability throughout the region. As like-minded maritime nations, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to working together to ensure maritime security, maritime safety, sustainable fisheries management and maritime order including peaceful settlement of disputes and issues based upon established international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

20. The Ministers expressed their deep concern over North Korea's continued nuclear and missile development, including its uranium enrichment activities. The Ministers urged North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes as well as all other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner, to take concrete actions to fully comply with the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the Six Party Talks Joint Statement, and to address humanitarian and human rights concerns including the abductions issue.

21. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the security of the Pacific Ocean from all forms of contamination and undertook to sharing information on the monitoring of any potential threat in relation to this.

22. The Ministers reaffirmed their shared views and commitments to disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation and welcomed the opening for signature of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in New York. Ministers recalled the call by Forum Leaders encouraging all Forum and United Nations members to consider signing the ATT as soon as practicable.

23. The Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform, which makes it more effective and representative of the 21st century. In acknowledging the need for early reform of the Security Council, PIF Ministers reiterated their support for Japan's bid for permanent membership on the Council.

24. The Ministers concurred to cooperate on the establishment of the post-2015 development agenda including, within the agenda, the promotion of human security, ocean, green economy, non-communicable diseases and other priorities while taking into consideration the priorities of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) to be articulated at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States to be held in Samoa in 2014.

25. The Ministers congratulated the election of Tokyo as the host city of 32nd Olympic Games and 16th Paralympic Games in 2020.

26. Japan announced that the next PALM (PALM 7) would be held in Iwaki City on 22 May in 2015 in the name of "Iwaki Pacific Islands Summit 2015",and the Ministers agreed on this venue and date.


I. Implementations of Japan's Assistance Pledged at PALM 6

II. The Pacific Islands' Challenges : Perspectives of Economic Development in the Small Island States (Interim Report)