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The Government of Japan on Tuesday announced a USD$25.8 million (SBD$216 million) in COVID 19 emergency assistance to Solomon Islands.
Outgoing Japanese Ambassador Shigeru Toyama revealed during his final courtesy call to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
“My government has not yet pledged any emergency assistance against Coronavirus, but responding to your efforts against the pandemic, we are now progressing the following assistances with responsible ministries,” he told Sogavare.
He said a grant of USD$2.8 million has been set aside for Health Sector Equipment Supply (COVID-19 Prevention and Response).
The remaining USD$23 million is for Emergency Financial Assistance through Concessional Programme loan.
Ambassador Toyama commended the preventive measures taken by the Government.
“Your Government continues to succeed in zero infection.”
Toyama also thanked the government for its support to Japan’s collection activities of remains of fallen Japanese soldiers and Japanese visitors of memorial service.
He called on the Government to continue to support Japan in the United Nations and other international fora.
“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”.
In response, Sogavare thanked Toyama for calling in before leaving the Solomon Islands.
“My Government looks forward to receiving your successor,” Sogavare said.
He also thanked 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.”
On infrastructure development, PM Sogavare said his government 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.”
Guided by the Oversight Committee, Sogavare said it is in the Government’s interest to ease restrictions on Technical Assistance (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,” he said.
SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS
APIA, 27 MAY 2020 (SAMOA GOVT) ---
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