At the outset of the meeting, Kishida stated that Japan and the Cook Islands were important partners tied by the Pacific Ocean, adding that he welcomed Brown’s visit to Japan. The two then agreed to cooperate closely toward the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

Discussing the Japan-Cook Islands relationship, Kishida stated that Japan had been providing support to Pacific Island countries, including the Cook Islands, taking their needs into account, and that it was continuing to consider support in various fields.

In response, Brown expressed his gratitude for the support that Japan had already provided and said that he would like to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

The two leaders also exchanged views on ALPS-treated water. Kishida—who, as prime minister of Japan, bears responsibility to the Japanese people and to the international community—reiterated his commitment to ensuring that the discharge of ALPS-treated water into the sea would not be allowed in a manner that endangers the lives of Japanese citizens or citizens of Pacific Island countries, or that adversely affects human health or the marine environment.

Meanwhile, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and the Cook Islands, the incoming chair of the PIF, would work closely together toward the 10th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM10), to be held next year.