Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles will this week represent Australia at the Pacific Islands Leaders' Meeting (PALM 6) in Okinawa, Japan.
The summit, co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of Japan and Cook Islands, will discuss a range of regional and development assistance issues, including climate change and disaster risk reduction.
"PALM provides an important opportunity for regional leaders to meet and talk about issues impacting the Pacific as well as share information critical to the region’s sustainable development, such as the lessons learnt from the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami,' Mr Marles said.
Established in 1997, PALM is hosted by Japan every three years. It is the key forum for Japan’s relations with the Pacific.
This year’s summit brings together leaders and other representatives from Japan, Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The United States of America will also participate.
While in Japan, the Parliamentary Secretary will also meet the Japanese Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Joe Nakano, to discuss important issues relevant to the bilateral relationship.
Mr Marles will meet with Ms Kuniko Tanioka, Member of the House of Councillors in Japan, and attend a lunch hosted by Australia’s Ambassador to Japan, His Excellency Bruce Miller, along with Members from the House of Councillors and House of Representatives of Japan.
Mr Marles will also attend Young PALM, at which two students and a teacher representing Australia will join in discussions on environmental issues with other participants from Pacific Island countries, New Zealand and Japan.
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