BY ALEX DADAMU
THE Government of Japan remains very committed to the extension of the Kukum Highway Project and is expected to sign off the next phase of the project in September this year 2020.
This was according to the Japanese Ambassador to the Solomon Islands His Excellency Shigeru Toyama when he met with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare recently on Friday.
According to a PMO press statement, H.E Toyama paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Sogavare to update him on Japan’s ongoing development programs in the country.
Mr. Toyama said Japan’s commitment to the infrastructure sector remains a top priority.
With regards to Kukum Highway Project H.E Toyama confirmed that Japanese consultations have already kicked started work on the ground.
“Japan is proud of its assistance in providing quality infrastructure in the Solomon Islands.
“We are very proud also that Japan is a front-runner in the infrastructure development in the Solomon Islands,” he said.
The Japanese ambassador also briefed the Prime Minister on Japan’s programs under the technical sector and grant aid funding.
Prime Minister Sogavare in response has thanked and welcomed Japan’s reaffirmation and partnership in the infrastructure sector.
The Prime Minister said road infrastructure development in the country is important.
He said the Government has also redirected its focus to improve feeder roads around the country.
Prime Minister Sogavare said a discussion upon the road improvement project with other development partners on the west side of Honiara is also in progress.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has also welcomed JICA’s ongoing dialogue between the National Government and Provincial government to extend Japanese infrastructure development to the provinces.
“The need for strategic infrastructure development in this country is vital. The Solomon Islands is scattered geographically and linking our people to our urban centers is vital,” he said.