Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks Saturday during the Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Kumamoto. | KYODO

Japan offers ¥500 billion to help solve water issues in Asia-Pacific

Japan will provide some ¥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 Asia-Pacific Water Summit, which began in Kumamoto the same day.

The prime minister 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 some 140 people, including online participants, from a total of about 30 countries and regions.

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.

“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,” Kishida said at the opening ceremony.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks Saturday during the Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Kumamoto. | KYODO

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako attended the ceremony virtually from the Imperial Palace.

“I sincerely hope that this Fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit will bear fruitful results and become a momentous step towards meeting water challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, and thereby will bring about peace and happiness for all human beings,” the emperor said in his 30-minute speech.

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.

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