Japan will hold a summit-level meeting with Pacific island countries in Tokyo in July.
At a Cabinet meeting on Friday, the Japanese government approved holding the 10th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting from July 16 to 18. Japan has hosted the meeting every three years since 1997.
This will be the first in-person meeting in six years. The last summit in 2021 was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi Yoshimasa said Pacific island countries are longstanding partners and share deep historic ties with Japan.
He said the meeting will serve as a crucial opportunity for maintaining and strengthening a free and open rules-based international order and expanding mutual cooperation at a time when the foundations of that order are being shaken.
He apparently referred to China's increased maritime assertiveness and other global situations.
Hayashi said he is looking forward to discussing climate change and other issues of shared concern while supporting the region as a whole and the efforts being made by each country. He added that he hopes Japan can propose concrete steps of cooperation at the meeting.