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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Japan denies paying for small state delegates to attend international whaling meeting

Japan has denied paying for delegates from small states to attend international whaling negotiations.

The statement follows a claim from the Solomon Islands that Tokyo had usually funded its attendance at meetings of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

The Solomon islands' Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, said on Saturday that his country had not attended last week's whaling meeting in London because it no longer wanted to accept Japanese assistance.

He said Japan had usually paid for the Solomon Islands to go, although he did not say how much money was involved.

But BBC reports a senior official at Japan's fisheries agency, Hideki Moronuki, told AFP news agency there was no truth to the claims by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister.

He said Japan has never made any offer at all to pay costs, accusing Mr Sikua of being confused.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Embassy in Honiara will tomorrow sign an exchange note with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade to develop the market and jetty area in Malaita's township Auki.

The signing will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Honiara and would be officiated by the Embassy's Charge de' Affairs, Akira Iwanade and Foreign Affairs Minister William Haomae.

Source: SIBC

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