Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs His Excellency Toshimitsu Motegi signed a Statement of Intent between the two countries today at the Airways Hotel, Port Moresby.
The Statement of Intent reaffirms the strong bilateral relations between PNG and Japan since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1975.
These include areas of mutual concern such as the importance of a free, open, and sustainable maritime order, based on the rule of law that will contribute to peace, stability, resilience, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
The Statement also recognizes the importance of expanding and strengthening trade and economic relations between the two countries, as it acknowledges substantial Japanese investments in PNG.
Mr Marape said the statement also recognizes the increased level of development cooperation between Papua New Guinea and Japan.
“The Statement further captures the importance of establishing closer cultural and people-to-people links.”
The Statement of Intent is a political commitment and is not intended as financially or legally binding, but nonetheless provides a framework to strengthen the two countries’ bilateral relationship going forward.
The Prime Minister said during the press conference that PNG and Japan have enjoyed a successful relationship since PNG’s Independence, adding that most of the discussions in the meeting revolved around opening the market in Japan to agricultural product producers in Papua New Guinea.
Japan’s contributions to Papua New Guinea over the years is valued at K4 billion and they continue to support PNG through various aid projects.
He said Papua New Guinea has always given support to Japan in International Forums and that he has indicated his attendance for the Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM) next year.
H.E Toshimitsu Motegi met with the Treasurer, Hon. Ian Ling Stuckey on his arrival on Thursday 20 August 2020; and had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Marape, today, Friday 21 August .
Minister Motegi’s two-day Official Visit ended on Friday, as he departed Port Moresby at 2pm on a special private charter.