For Immediate Release, January 18, 2017

Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands

The Honorable John M. Silk, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands headed the RMI delegation to the Third Ministerial Interim Meeting (MIM3) of the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) process held in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday, 17 January 2017. All Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers, including Australia and New Zealand, were represented along with Japan.

MIM3 provided an opportunity for Ministers to follow up on the outcomes of PALM7 (held in 2015) in addition to preparing for PALM8 in 2018. The Ministers also reiterated their shared determination to maintaining and strengthening the partnership between Pacific Island countries and Japan through the PALM process.

The meeting was co-chaired by the Honorable Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the Honorable Mr. Lorin Robert, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Minister Silk also had the opportunity to make a courtesy call on His Excellency Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and the Honorable Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (current ruling Party in Japan). Pacific Ministers also had the opportunity to meet with the Japan- Pacific Parliamentarian Union League.

Additional bilateral discussions between Minister Silk and the Honorable Kiyoshi Odawara, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan covered various issues of mutual interest for the RMI and Japan, including the RMI Trust Fund and oceans issues.

PALM meetings are held every three years with Ministerial-level meetings held in the interim period. The PALM process provides a platform for Japan and the Pacific Islands to discuss and set priorities for political commitment through discussion of various regional and global issues of common interest. The next PALM meeting will be held in Iwaki City, Fukushima, Japan on 18-19 May, 2018.

H.E. Ambassador Tom Kijiner, Assistant Secretary Ms. Doreen deBrum, and Deputy Chief of Mission Ms. Annette Note at the RMI Embassy in Japan, were also in attendance.