A new era for Japan and the Pacific Islands : the Tokyo Summit

Date
1997
Authors
Finin, Gerard A.
Wesley-Smith, Terence
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Honolulu: East-West Center
Abstract
At the time when many traditional Pacific powers-including the United States-are reducing their presence in the region, Japan is calling its first-ever summit with the Pacific Islands. The subject is how to increase self-sufficiency in these aid-dependent nations. Japan's initiative follows more than 25 years of increasing activity in the region, and may signal a more assertive leadership role. This new posture is generally welcomed by western powers and Pacific Island governments, who appreciate Japan's role as the region's second largest aid donor. Greatly concerned with regional stability (and with China and Taiwan's growing presence in the islands), Japan also wants continued access to fisheries, seabed minerals, and land-based resources. The Pacific Islands want to expand exports to Japan, increase returns from fishing rights, attract more Japanese tourists, and receive more development assistance. Achieving the summit's goal will depend in part on a willingness to innovate: investments in self-perpetuating trust funds and education and training programs, rather than forms of aid that increase dependency, are among steps that could lead to island self-sufficiency.
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