Koror - Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono announced that the next ministerial interim Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) will be held for the first time in Fiji in mid-2020.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr.
Photo courtesy of Office of the President, Palau
Kono first made the pronouncement during his trip to Fiji on August 4 as part of his Asia-Pacific engagements and reiterated it during his first visit to Palau on August 8.
The upcoming PALM in Fiji will be the first time the event will be held outside Japan and in a Pacific island nation.
Japanese Assistant Press Secretary and International Press Division Director Naoaki Kamoshida said that the decision to hold the meeting in Fiji was Japan’s response to the request of the Pacific islands to conduct the event in the region.
PALM is a triennial meeting established by Japan in 1997 to foster relationships with Pacific island nations. It has also become a venue for Japan and the Pacific countries such as Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu to discuss development assistance and to address challenges including climate change.
The last PALM was held in Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan from May 18 to 19, 2018.