10 Jul 2014

Japan PM touches down in PNG

2:50 pm on 10 July 2014

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived in Papua New Guinea today for a two-day visit.

The first visit by a Japanese Prime Minister in three decades, it is being described by officials from both countries as a sign of the importance of the bilateral relationship.

Since PNG gained independence in 1975, Japan has provided around 1.5 billion US dollars of assistance to the country.

This visit is expected to formalise new assistance programmes and expanded economic links.

Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Company was the recipient of the first cargo shipped from PNG's major LNG project in May.

Japan's Nippon Oil has nearly 5% equity in the project.

Mr Abe told the Post Courier that the supply of PNG gas contributes positively to Japan's energy security as it helps diversify supply sources.

The Prime Minister visited PNG around 30 years ago and says he is impressed by the remarkable social and economic progress of the country since then.