The Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Brett Mason, will represent Australia at the Second Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) Intersessional Meeting in Tokyo and Sendai, Japan, from 25 to 27 October.
The PALM meeting is an opportunity for Senator Mason to confirm Australia's strong commitment to the Pacific region and to cooperation with Japan in the Pacific, as well as to engage with Pacific Ministers.
The Intersessional PALM meeting, co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of Japan and Marshall Islands, will discuss a range of regional and development assistance issues, including the environment, maritime resources, trade and investment and disaster risk reduction.
The inaugural PALM summit was held in 1997 with subsequent meetings hosted by Japan every three years.
This year's meeting brings together leaders from Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tonga and Niue, as well as foreign ministers from Japan, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, and representatives from Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands.
While in Japan, Senator Mason will also meet Japanese Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Norio Mitsuya to discuss issues relevant to the bilateral relationship, and Japanese Diet members to strengthen bilateral parliamentary links.
Senator Mason will also meet Japan's Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ms Michiko Ueno, to discuss the New Colombo Plan, and with leading Australian and Japanese businesspeople to discuss the New Colombo Plan internship program.
- Parliamentary Secretary's Office: (07) 3422 1990
- Departmental Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555