THE Government and the people of Japan will continue to deepen and develop the friendly and cooperative bilateral relations with the Solomon Islands Government and its people.
Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands Shigeru Toyama made these assurances during the 60th birthday of the new Emperor of Japan, His Majesty Emperor Naruhito at Mendana last Friday.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, the Governor-General, Rt Rev. Sir David Vunagi and Madame Vunagi also present at the event.
It has been 42 years since the independence of the Solomon Islands and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Solomon Islands.
Ambassador Toyama said over the four decades, the friendly and cooperative bilateral relations have deepened and developed.
“To strengthen the cooperative relationship with Pacific Islands Countries is one of the priorities of Japan’s foreign policy,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ambassador had stated their willingness to support the Government of Solomon Islands with its Bloody Ridge National Park project for the upgrade to a National Peace Park.
“This is an absolutely great idea and the Government of Japan would like to cooperate with the project as much as we can,” Toyama said.
He further announced that Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), has helped the Solomon Islands to improve the living standard of the people and the sustainable economic development of the country.
“We celebrated the satisfactory completion of the Kukum Highway Upgrading in December 2018,” he added.
As for the ongoing project, “the Honiara International Airport Upgrading Project” was started in December 2019 and shows progress.
“We are delighted to have an opportunity to work together with the Government of the Solomon Islands on such important infrastructure projects.
“I would like to ask all the stakeholders for their close cooperation to facilitate good management of these projects,” Toyama said.
He further mentioned their cooperation program that includes JICA volunteers and Grass Roots Human Security projects which have covered various sectors including education and health.
He said the feature of these projects is to deliver direct benefit to local communities.
“Therefore, these projects have been expanding the friendship between not only the two nations but also people in our two countries.
“I also would like to maintain and promote our cooperative relations in various fields, such as fisheries, environmental conservation, disaster risk reduction, culture, and sports exchanges, tourism and so on,” Toyama said.
Sogavare in his remarks thanked the government and people of Japan for their friendship and bilateral relationship with the Solomon Islands Government and its people.
“Let me acknowledge the assistance so far and appeal to you to welcome our future requests as we work towards deepening and enhancing our bilateral relations to greater heights in the near future,” Sogavare said.