25 May 2015

Fiji to benefit from Japan's climate change aid package

7:35 pm on 25 May 2015

Fiji may be set to receive a significant share of a climate change aid package from Japan after the PALM 7 Pacific leaders meeting in Tokyo.

The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, wound up the meeting with 14 Pacific leaders, with a pledge to spend US $453 million to help them fight climate change and natural disasters.

Analysts say the figure surely includes crucial funding to finally solve Nadi's flooding problem, following Japan's consulting and reports that date back to the 1980s.

Frank Bainimarama specifically requested for that help in his speech, and included a direct request that from now on Japan deal directly with Fiji, instead of taking advice from third parties.

It was undoubtetly a reference to Australia and New Zealand - the two countries whose presence at the Pacific Islands Forum still irks the former military dictator.

He did meet briefly with Australia's Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, later saying that labour mobility and the seasonal worker scheme were discussed, but no word on whether there was any talk on the Forum impasse, with Mr Bainimarama vowing not to attend the September meeting in Port Moresby if the two wealthy donors remain as members.