島サミット 米と連携し中国進出に対処を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 28, 2012)
Strengthen intl ties in Pacific to deal with China’s assertiveness
島サミット 米と連携し中国進出に対処を(5月27日付・読売社説)

Japan’s efforts to support development of the island countries that dot the Pacific will surely enhance the stability of the region.

Bearing the rapidly growing assertiveness of China in mind, it is indispensable for Japan to beef up cooperation with the United States in tackling this task.

The Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, with leaders of 12 island countries, including Palau, and one territory attending, wrapped up after finishing its two-day program on Friday and Saturday.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who chaired the meeting, said at a news conference after the close of the summit, “Both Japan and Pacific island countries are vulnerable to natural disasters, and we would like to share lessons of Japan’s natural disasters [with them].” Noda stressed the importance of a joint declaration adopted in the latest PALM that puts top priority on antidisaster measures.

In the declaration, Japan promises to support improvement of an “early warning system for disasters” to help Pacific island countries prepare for earthquakes, tsunami and other natural calamities. Japan has also pledged to launch a “natural disaster risk insurance” program on a pilot basis to help Pacific island countries cover damage from natural disasters in cooperation with the World Bank.


A precious diplomatic asset

Noda said at the news conference: “Japan’s fiscal conditions are tight, as we need to reconstruct areas devastated by the [March 11] disaster. Even so, we should not be inward-looking but seek to be a country that will continue to contribute to peace and prosperity in the world.” The prime minister expressed Japan’s intention to offer up to 500 million dollars (about 40 billion yen) in official development assistance over the next three years for such endeavors. The figure is equivalent to the sum the country gave out in the previous three years combined.

PALM has been held every three years under Japan’s sponsorship since 1997. The latest summit is the sixth.

The Japanese government’s continued support for the island countries, successfully nurturing their confidence in this country, is a precious diplomatic asset.

Notably during the latest summit, a meeting was held between leaders of the island countries and Japan’s business leaders, including executives of Japanese companies, to expedite private investment. The government, together with the private sector, should proceed with carefully considered diplomacy to assist Pacific island countries.

Also taken up in the latest PALM were issues involving the marine environment and marine resources development.

China, too, has been proactively practicing assistance diplomacy toward Pacific island countries. Beijing has surpassed Japan in terms of the amount of assistance cash, and is believed to place third on the list of donor countries after Australia and the United States.


China’s strategic thinking

In particular, China’s assistance to such countries as Papua New Guinea and Fiji, which have abundant mineral and other natural resources, has been sharply increasing.

Fiji, which skipped the island countries summit this time, has seen its relations with the United States and Europe deteriorating recently. It may be inclined to deepen its ties with China.

Chinese leaders such as Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping have been making visits to these countries almost every year.

In addition to port calls to these countries by Chinese Navy warships and military assistance to them, the number of Chinese immigrants to Pacific island countries has reportedly been rising steadily. This may be part of China’s strategic thinking.

This year, delegates from the United States took part in the triennial PALM event for the first time. The administration of President Barack Obama, with growing wariness toward Beijing, has shifted its diplomatic focus to the Asia-Pacific region and is building close relations with Pacific island countries.

The government should continue making efforts for stable development of the Pacific region by joining hands with the United States as well as Australia and New Zealand, which are PALM members.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 27, 2012)
(2012年5月27日01時42分 読売新聞)

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



WordPress.com ロゴ

WordPress.com アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト /  変更 )

Google フォト

Google アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト /  変更 )

Twitter 画像

Twitter アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト /  変更 )

Facebook の写真

Facebook アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト /  変更 )

%s と連携中

このサイトはスパムを低減するために Akismet を使っています。コメントデータの処理方法の詳細はこちらをご覧ください