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Regional News

FSM president meets with Japan PM

TOKYO, Japan (FSM Information Services) — On Nov. 14, 2019, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, was received by Shinzo Abe, prime minister of Japan, for a meeting at the office of the prime minister followed by a luncheon at the prime minister’s residence.

Click to enlarge
FSM President David Panuelo and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe conduct a joint press conference in Tokyo, Japan on Nov. 14, 2019.  FSMIS photo

The purpose of the meeting was for the FSM and Japan to thoroughly discuss their views on issues of import, such as a mutual commitment to the free and open Indo-Pacific strategy. The president emphasized to Prime Minister Abe that “[the FSM] will be on [Japan’s and the United States’] side all the time,” particularly when it comes to upholding the rule of law, promoting democratic values, and strengthening maritime security, such as efforts towards tackling illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

“On the issue of North Korea, the FSM stands with Japan and the international community on the important issue in condemning their human rights violations, including the abductions of civilians, and nuclear testing,” President Panuelo said.

Key outcomes on behalf of the FSM include the president advising of the island nation’s support for Japan’s candidature to join the United Nations Security Council in 2022, as well as support for Japan’s permanent placement on the United Nations Security Council if and when the Security Council is reformed.

“The FSM is so confident in Japan’s role in regional and world stability and security that our country supports Japan for its candidature to the United Nations Security Council in the 2022 election. Furthermore, the FSM will advocate to the world that the United Nations Security Council must expand with additional permanent members — and Japan must be one of them,” President Panuelo said in a press conference following the bilateral meeting.

Further, per Japan’s request the FSM will work closely with its States of Chuuk and Yap to assist Japan in retrieving familial remains left behind after World War II. Japan will be conducting an onsite bones survey in Yap in early 2020, and President Panuelo emphasized that he will mobilize the appropriate elements of the FSM National Government to work with the FSM State of Yap so that Japan’s support needs are fully met.

Key outcomes on behalf of Japan includes their intention to “continue to strengthen [Japan’s] support for the FSM,” with foci on maritime security, infrastructural development projects, and human resources development through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Examples include Japan’s increased cooperation with annual iterations of Operation Christmas Drop, as well as extensive cooperation in regional security issues, among many others.

To the president’s delight, Prime Minister Abe noted that the Pohnpei State Port’s commercial and fisheries expansion survey will occur in May 2020. The Pohnpei State Port’s expansion is a priority in the Panuelo-George administration, and the FSM national government looks forward to its development.

While details are still being worked out, President Panuelo and Prime Minister Abe also discussed the replacement of the MV Caroline Voyager.

“We will continue to strengthen our own support for the FSM,” Prime Minister Abe said to President Panuelo. “We will strengthen our assistance for the sustainable economic and social development of Micronesia while coordinating with like-minded nations such as the United States and Australia.”

The FSM and Japan have 31 years of formal diplomatic relations, and more than 100 years of traditional relations. The FSM is proud of its “kizuna” with the people and government of Japan and will do all that it can to continue to nurture and strengthen this special bond.