20 Oct 2010

Japan considers inviting Fiji's Bainimarama in 2012

1:21 pm on 20 October 2010

Japan is softening its policy on Fiji and is considering inviting the interim Fiji prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, to its next meeting of the Pacific Islands Leaders in 2012.

The Japanese foreign ministry has told The Australian newspaper that Tokyo is concerned the policy of pressuring Fiji to return to democracy is failing and it's considering moving to a dialogue-based policy.

Japan declined to invite Commodore Bainimarama to its last meeting with Pacific leaders but an official says Tokyo will reconsider its stance just before the next meeting after assessing how the democratisation process is going.

The official told the paper Japan is considering changing tack on Fiji because there's been little progress under the current policy and Fiji's drifted into the arms of China.

Australia and New Zealand imposed travel bans on those involved in the military coup in December 2006.