High-level delegations from Asia-Pacific countries and international organizations gathered in Japan to discuss water-related issues.
The occasion is the fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit which opened in the southwestern city of Kumamoto on Saturday.
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako participated in the online opening ceremony.
The Emperor delivered a speech in English. He said, “I sincerely hope that this fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit will bear fruitful results and become a milestone in addressing water challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, and bring thus peace and happiness to all human beings. some beings.”
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio delivered a keynote speech at a summit session. He said water-related disasters have been occurring frequently around the world in recent years. He noted that the coronavirus pandemic has renewed awareness of the importance of clean water.
He added that improving sanitation is extremely important to eradicate poverty.
Kishida announced an initiative to help the Asia-Pacific region address water-related issues.
He pledged about 500 billion yen, or nearly $4 billion, in aid to the region over the next five years.
The initiative will include measures against climate change, such as improving the hydraulic control capacity of dams and increasing hydroelectric power. It also aims to expand water supply facilities.
Kishida then spoke about Ukraine. He said the international community is at a crucial point to end Russia’s inhumane invasion and safeguard peace and order. He said the international community should speak with one voice that any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force will not be tolerated.
Delegates adopted the Kumamoto Declaration committing to address water challenges.
The water summit will continue through Sunday.