JICA President, TANAKA Akihiko's Message for PALM10

-- Press Release –

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President, TANAKA Akihiko announced a message for the upcoming Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting 2024 (PALM10) to be held on July 16-18 in Tokyo, Japan. The PALM is a summit meeting held every three years since 1997 to contribute to regional stability and prosperity and to strengthen the partnership between Pacific Island countries and Japan. Prime Minister Hon. Hu’akavameiliku will attend the meeting. JICA wishes the PALM10 a success and will continue to contribute to the development of Pacific Island countries. 

JICA President, TANAKA Akihiko's Message

Sharing the Blue Pacific Continent: JICA’s enduring commitment from the past to the future

Japan has strong ties with the people of the Pacific Island Countries (PICs), through our shared history and cultural commonalities. We are all island nations and our livelihoods are closely interlinked with the Pacific Ocean.

Respecting the Pacific Way

We at JICA have deep admiration for the ‘Pacific Way’ mentioned by Prime Minister Mara at the UN General Assembly in 1970: respecting the region’s rich and traditional cultures; its value on the cohesion and solidarity of communities; and creating unity based on cooperation among island nations. We also appreciate the PICs’ shared aspiration to decide regional matters peacefully through respectful, consultative, and inclusive discussions. That has contributed to building resilience in the region. These locally imbedded practices are well regarded as the original development model in the Pacific Way.


The 2050 Strategy and the Kuranari Doctrine

Japan has been closely working with PICs for their nation building since the 1970s. In 1987, then-Japanese Foreign Minister Tadashi Kuranari declared five principles of Japan’s cooperation with the Pacific that would later be recognized as the Kuranari Doctrine: (i) respect for independence and autonomy; (ii) support for existing arrangements for regional cooperation; (iii) assistance in preserving political stability; (iv) the provision of assistance to make the region more prosperous; and (v) the promotion of people-to-people exchanges.

The “2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent”, the PICs’ first long-term development strategy issued in 2022, sets the principles that all partners must adhere to.

Yet, the principles outlined in this strategy are not new to Japan, as they share common values with the Kuranari doctrine. Thus, our respect and engagement with PICs will remain steadfast and unwavering. 

Kizuna – nurturing mutual trust

Based on these principles, JICA has supported various development initiatives and projects in the region for the improvement of health and education, and, more recently, for environmental protection and climate change adaptation. Our long history of people-to-people cooperation in the region has generated solid results in its development, alongside forging mutual understanding and ‘Kizuna’ (bonds) between people in the Pacific Islands and Japan.

People-to-people connection

Our cooperation in the Pacific region started with the initial dispatch of volunteers to Samoa in 1972. Since then, nearly 5,000 Japanese volunteers have lived and worked in the region. They have shared their knowledge and expertise with people in various fields and workplaces; in turn, they have learned the deep-seated values of the region. These volunteers have strong and enduring attachments to their respective Pacific communities and countries.

Furthermore, many officials from government and public organizations of the PICs have come to Japan for JICA’s knowledge-sharing and training courses, including scholarship programs. We are delighted that graduates of these programs are now playing key roles in their respective governments and are actively contributing to their national development.

In Tonga, JICA has been implementing various projects such as the Fua'amotu Airport, Vava'u & Eua High School, Tongatapu Main Road, MV 'Otuanga'ofa, Vaiola Hospital, solar and wind power generation, domestic wharfs, and a nationwide warning system. JICA volunteers and technical experts have been working with the Tongan people for many years in various areas of nation building such as education, health, agriculture & fisheries, infrastructure, environment, and disaster risk reduction.

 TBC Building - NEWS (Nationawide Early Warning System) Project

Taufa'ahau Wharf

Solar and wind power generation at Niutoua

Beyond traditional security: commitment to human security

Recently, in the midst of a changing geopolitical environment, much of the world’s attention in the Pacific focuses on conventional security challenges. However, as stipulated in the 2050 Strategy, the definition of security must adapt to encompass a more inclusive approach to security issues including human, economic, environmental, and cyber securities as well as resilience to disasters and climate change. This concept is compatible to the Japan’s ODA guiding principle and JICA’s mission of human security. Human security is a state in which people, as individuals, are free from fear and want and can live with dignity. JICA has supported our partner countries to ensure human security, which is threatened by various sources of complex global challenges. Based on such shared concepts of human security, we are committed to work with the PICs for development in the region.

Shared pride and shared voice – we, islanders

Islanders of the Pacific, including the people of Japan, have historically experienced the vulnerabilities that island life can present. However, we all have also overcome those difficulties courageously by living with the ocean. Based on the challenges we have jointly faced as island nations, JICA will fully utilize our knowledge of the Pacific context to engage in the 2050 Strategy for further development of the Kingdom of Tonga and the region. Always keeping JICA‘s vision of ‘Leading the World with Trust’ in mind, JICA will be a trusted partner of the people of Tonga/the Pacific in working together in the Pacific way, for its betterment of people’s life, human security, and sustainable nature. We look forward to projecting our voices across the world – together with empathy, resonance, and the shared pride of all Pacific islanders.





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