Japan – Papua New New Guinea relations can only get better with the opening of the magnificent new PNG Embassy in Tokyo, according to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.
He was speaking in Tokyo yesterday when officially opening the new embassy building (pictured) in front of a large entourage from both Japan and PNG.
The K20 million building is named after former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sir Albert Maori Kiki, who was instrumental in developing PNG foreign policy.
"Papua New Guinea already enjoys a fast-growing investment, trade and economic relationship with Japan," Sir Michael said.
"Japan is Papua New Guinea's second-largest trading partner.
"Japanese business entities have substantial investment interests in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and oil and gas sectors.
"JBIC, Nippon Oil Exploration and Tokyo Electric's participation in the first PNG LNG project confirms the trend towards a more enhanced relationship between Papua New Guinea and Japan.
"This is further exemplified by the interest shown by JAPEX in the second LNG project being developed in Papua New Guinea."
The construction of this chancery, which began in May 2009 with a groundbreaking ceremony performed also by Sir Michael, was completed in December last year and the building formally handed over on Jan 19, 2010.
The commitment by the government to this project was recognition of the important and maturing relations between Japan and PNG – a relationship that in recent times has gone to a higher level, with the recent involvement of some high-profile Japanese companies in the PNG LNG project.