News 8 Aug 2018
Tonga's Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva has requested the Japanese Government for assistance to extend Fua’amotu International Airport's runway, estimated at to cost around $40 million pa’anga.
In a meeting with Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Mr. Iwao Horii, who was visiting Nuku'alofa on Saturday, August 4, the Prime Minister raised the request for assistance that was conveyed through the Japanese Embassy in Nuku’alofa for the extension of the airport runway by 400 metres.
Hon Mr. Iwao Horii said that the Japanese Government looked forward to receiving more detailed information through their Embassy in Nuku’alofa, regarding the runway extension and, perhaps, the renovation of the existing airport terminal.
The Prime Minister's Office stated that the primary purpose of this meeting was to further enhance the bilateral relations between Tonga and Japan and the agenda included the follow-up to 8th Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting held in May.
"The meeting also discussed development projects that Japan had already agreed to fund through grant aid including the Wind Power Generation System that is designed to add 1.3 megawatts to Tonga’s renewable energy portfolio, as well as the disaster risk reduction project called “Nationwide Early Warning System” (NEWS) that will cost TOP$56 million, and includes the construction of a new headquarters for the Tonga Broadcasting Commission."
The PM thanked the Japanese Government for the new domestic wharf terminal.
Proud of domestic wharf
"Tonga is most fortunate for the completion of the Taufa’ahau Tupou IV Wharf and Terminal, which rests majestically on the waterfront area. We are so proud of it. The wharf is expected to boost cargo, and mobilize people and goods, and boost the domestic economy and overseas trade.”
Hon. Mr. Iwao Horii said Japan values its bilateral relations with Tonga would continue to maintain the close relations between the two Royal Families and continue exchanges at all levels.
"We also look forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations in 2020.”
Hon. Mr. Iwao Horii was accompanied to the meeting by Japan’s Ambassador to Tonga, H.E Tetsuya Ishii, three of his officials and Embassy staff.
The delegation arrived in Tongatapu on Friday night, August 3 departed the following night.
Source: Matangi Tonga