JICA President with PM Lilo during the visit. Photo credit: GCU.

JICA President with PM Lilo during the visit. Photo credit: GCU.

The President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA Akihiko Tanaka has today paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo at the Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet in Honiara.

During the occasion, Prime Minister Lilo welcomed the visiting dignitary adding, it was an honor to receive the JICA president being the first head of any donor agency to visit the country with condolence message to the victims of the recent disaster in person.

“The President is the first of the head of all our development partners who have had years of engagement with the Solomons to visit our country and to convey in person their condolences to the Government and people of Solomon Islands and in particular to the victims of our recent natural disaster.”

The Prime Minister also described the JICA President’s visit as timely because the Japanese government through JICA and the National Government are in the process of finalizing necessary arrangements for the major projects planned for the Honiara City.

The major projects are upgrading the Solomon Islands Ports Authority facilities in the country; upgrading Kukum Highway and formulating the transport sector master plan for Honiara City.

Other projects are rehabilitating the old and new Mataniko bridges.

Meanwhile, JICA president Tanaka has told Prime Minister Lilo – the Japanese government through JICA, is committed in the major projects planned for Solomon Islands.

Mr Tanaka said JICA is committed in fast-tracking the process so that the major developments can kick start.

“JICA is now planning to rehabilitate the old and new Mataniko bridges, which were severely damaged by the flood. About two weeks ago we dispatched a mission here to grasp the post flood situation and now we plan to reflect the findings into the bridge design. We are ready to further contribute to Solomon’s early recovery and reconstruction Solomon Islands to be more resilient to disasters.”

He also said he was impressed to visit the country as he will be seeing for himself the successful developments under JICA.

He also assured the Prime Minister that the Japanese government, through JICA, is committed to helping reconstruct and rehabilitate the Solomon Islands, especially after the floods that crippled most of the country’s infrastructure.

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