Japan offers ¥500 billion in water summit

Courtesy of the Imperial Household Agency / Jiji Press
The Emperor gives a speech online as part of the opening ceremony of the Fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Kumamoto, as the Empress listens at the Imperial Palace on Saturday.

KUMAMOTO (Jiji Press) — Japan will provide about ¥500 billion over the next five years to help solve water-related issues in the Asia-Pacific region, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday.

Kishida made the remark at a summit-level session of the two-day Fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit, which started in Kumamoto City on the day.

The leader indicated his country’s eagerness to support the development of high-quality infrastructure using the country’s cutting-edge technologies.

The conference is attended by about 140 people, including online participants, from a total of about 30 countries and regions, such as Tuvalu, a Pacific island nation facing rising sea levels amid global warming.

Under the theme of water for sustainable development, participants will discuss ways to manage water resources and measures to deal with floods and other natural disasters, which are increasingly severe due to the impact of climate change.

At the opening ceremony, Kishida said, “This is a good opportunity to take a major step toward solving global water problems by bringing together the wisdom and determination of the Asia-Pacific region.”

The Emperor and Empress attended the ceremony online from the Imperial Palace. In his 30-minute speech, the Emperor said, “I sincerely hope that this Fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit will bear fruitful results and become a momentous step toward meeting water challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, and thereby will bring about peace and happiness for all human beings.”

To wrap up summit-level talks, the Kumamoto declaration will be adopted for discussions at the 2023 U.N. Water Conference, slated to be held next March.