The Government of Japan yesterday (Monday 26 May) announced a 25.8 million US dollars in COVID 19 emergency assistance to the Government of Solomon Islands.
Outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Mr. Shigeru Toyama revealed during his final courtesy call to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday.
“My government has not yet pledged any emergency assistance against Corona virus, but responding to your efforts against the pandemic, we are now progressing the following assistances with responsible ministries,” His Excellency Toyama reassured Prime Minister Sogavare.
He expounds, of the 25.8 million USD, a grant of 2.8 million USD is for Health Sector Equipment Supply (COVID-19 Prevention and Response).
The remaining 23 million USD is for Emergency Financial Assistance through Concessional Program Loan.
Ambassador Toyama highly appreciates the preventive measures taken by the Government.
“Your Government continues to succeed in zero infection”, he told Prime Minister Sogavare.
Mr. Toyama also thank the government for its support to Japan’s collection activities of remains of fallen Japanese soldiers and Japanese visitors of memorial service.
He calls on the Solomon Islands Government to continue to support Japan in the United Nations and other international fora.
Ambassador Toyama says, “Japan will host the 9th Pacific Leaders Meeting next year, at a date yet to be decided. I eagerly ask you to attend this meeting”.
Responding, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare thank His Excellency Toyama for calling in before leaving Solomon Islands tomorrow.
“My Government looks forward to receiving your successor, said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Sogavare thank Ambassador Toyama for acknowledging Solomon Islands cooperation at the United Nations and international forums.
“Be assured, Solomon Islands will continue to support Japan in issues of common interest in international forums”.
Solomon Islands is happy to have been part of the Japanese effort to recover the remains of loved ones to be returned to Japan for their final rest, he said.
He says, in terms of Major Infrastructure development, Solomon Islands will not go far without Japan’s assistance.
The Honiara Airport Project, Kukum II Project are examples of the many development inroads directly from the Government and people of Japan.
“We want to strengthen the relationship further”, underlines Prime Minister Sogavare.
According to the Prime Minister, guided by the Oversight Committee, it is in the Government’s interest to ease restrictions on Technical Assistants, (TA) travels.
“We should see a repatriation flight today where experts on national projects including those from Japan will slowly begin to return and kick start projects interrupted by COVID 19.”
On the Japanese Government’s invitation for PALM 9, Prime Minister Sogavare said, “I want to make the effort to attend PALM 9 in Japan. Thanks for the invite”.
Japan’s new Representative to Solomon Islands, Ambassador Morimoto is now preparing for his departure from Japan and will assume his duty mid next month.Japan and Solomon Islands have historical connections dating back to the Second World War.