BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
PACIFIC Islands leaders and governors together with their delegations were welcomed to Iwaki City in Japan to participate in the two-day eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM).
The welcome ceremony took place on Friday at the Yumoto train station where they boarded a special train called Omeshi Ressha, a train which is usually used by the Emperor and Empress.
The meeting ends on Saturday 19th May 2018.
The PALM takes place every three years where leaders and representatives of Pacific Island countries (PICs) are invited to Japan to strengthen the traditional partnership of Japan and the PICs and the region through promotion of cooperation regarding various issues facing the Pacific islands region.
Japan this year is co-chairing with Samoa, and present for the PALM 8 are Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
Witnessing the welcome ceremony yesterday were Japanese government officials, students from schools within Iwaki city, members of public in Iwaki city and local and international media personnel.