Japan to give $400 mn to Pacific islands to fight climate change

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday pledged $453 million in aid to Pacific island nations to help them combat climate change and natural disasters.


Abe made the pledge as leaders of 14 Pacific island nations gathered for a two-day meeting, which began on Friday in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, to discuss their development needs.


“As a pledge of the Japanese government, we will provide no less than 55 billion yen ($453 million) to you in the upcoming three years … in order to foster resilient capabilities that will not be defeated by climate change or disasters,” Abe told the meeting.


The seventh round of Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) came as host Japan attempts to boost its profile in the Pacific, at a time of growing Chinese economic and political influence in the region.


The meeting, held every three years, was also attended by senior officials from other regional powers, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the United States.


Pacific island leaders have long complained about rising sea levels eroding their coastlines and of the increasing severity and frequency of extreme climate phenomena, such as super-typhoons, likely caused by global warming.


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