Tokyo, The Gulf Observer: Japan has pledged 2.4 billion yen in grant aid to Samoa to support the enhancement of facilities at the National University of Samoa, a move aimed at strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two nations. The commitment was made during talks between Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Samoa’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, held in the Samoan capital, Apia.
The funding is designated to facilitate improvements in the infrastructure of the National University of Samoa, located in Apia. This initiative reflects Japan’s ongoing efforts to deepen its ties with Samoa, particularly in the context of geopolitical developments in the Pacific region, where China has been expanding its influence.
The discussions also covered the upcoming Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting scheduled for July in Tokyo, demonstrating the commitment of both nations to fostering cooperation in various areas.
Addressing concerns expressed by some Pacific island countries regarding the discharge of treated radioactive wastewater from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific, Foreign Minister Kamikawa emphasized Japan’s commitment to providing detailed and science-based explanations. The Japanese delegation seeks to reassure Pacific nations about the safety of the wastewater release, an issue that has stirred apprehension in the region.
Climate change was another key topic on the agenda, with both parties highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts to address environmental challenges.
Foreign Minister Kamikawa’s visit to Samoa marks a significant diplomatic engagement, making her the first Japanese foreign minister to visit the Pacific island nation. The discussions underscore the mutual interest in strengthening ties and addressing shared concerns.
Minister Kamikawa is set to participate in a ministerial gathering with the 18 Pacific Islands Forum members scheduled to take place in Fiji on Monday, reinforcing Japan’s commitment to regional partnerships.