Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will arrive in Rarotonga this week for engagements with Cook Islands Government representatives, including Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) the Hon. Mark Brown and Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann.
During his visit, Foreign Minister Hayashi will be accompanied by Japan’s Ambassador to the Cook Islands resident in Wellington, His Excellency Koichi Ito and officials from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Embassy in Wellington.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi’s visit to Rarotonga follows a visit by Prime Minister the Hon. Mark Brown in February this year, where he met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.
During the visit, Prime Minister Brown also met with Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Ambassador Koichi Ito.
“I am delighted to be able to welcome Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his delegation, including Japan’s Ambassador to the Cook Islands, His Excellency Koichi Ito, to Rarotonga to advance and discuss our nation’s relations and areas for further cooperation,” said Prime Minister Brown.
Minister Hayashi’s visit follows earlier talks held in Japan to relay the Cook Islands and Pacific Islands Forum concerns regarding Japan’s planned Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) -treated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station into the Pacific Ocean and to request a deferral of Japan’s planned discharge until there is a deeper understanding of the implications of the release.
In addition to bilateral talks, Minister Hayashi will engage with representatives of civil society and community leaders during his visit.
This is Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi’s first visit to the Cook Islands.