JAPAN has offered to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Solomon Islands it is current manufacturing once the World Health Organisation (WHO) approves it.
The AstraZeneca vaccines will be provided through the COVAC facility.
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide made the offer during a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Sogavare early this month.
The two leaders also reaffirmed their bilateral cooperation during the meeting.
A government statement issued yesterday said the virtual meeting that connected the two leaders from Honiara and Tokyo was held before the Pacific Islands Leader Meeting (PALM 9) with Japan on Friday 2 July.
“At the meeting, the two Leaders discuss common issues of concern and the Prime Minister of Japan outlined the Pacific Bond Kizuna policy to strengthen the linkage and connection between Pacific Island countries and Japan when he announced that the ‘Pacific Island countries are indispensable partners for Japan’,” the statement said.
“On the support towards COVID-19, Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to assist Solomon Islands in its response to COVID-19,” it added.
The statement said Japan also offered to provide AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Japan through the COVAX facility once approved by WHO.
“In its ongoing bilateral development assistance, Japan will provide solar powered streetlights with the aim of contributing towards Solomon Islands climate action as well as continuing its support for the upgrading of the Honiara International Airport and the Phase 2 of the Kukum Highway project.”
Prime Minister Sogavare further acknowledge the ongoing support provided by Japan through bilateral and multilateral assistance.
“The relationship between the Pacific Island countries and Japan is very important at this time to advance our development aspirations moving forward, and we look forward to working very closely with Japan,” Sogavare said.
Prime Minister Sogavare reiterates that Solomon Islands will continue to work with Japan on areas of mutual benefit and assured Prime Minister Yoshihide of Solomon Islands support for Japan in international forums.