By Patricia Keamo, EMTV News Cadet Journalist – Student
The Japanese government has given three million Kina (101 million Yen) to the Autonomous Bougainville government to boost their referendum awareness.
The official signing ceremony of the agreement today (November 13, 2018) was done by H. E Satoshi Nakajima, Japanese Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, and Gianluca Rampolla, United Nations Resident Coordinator in PNG.
This funding was directed to support the Bougainville Referendum Commission and the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Media and Communications Directorate to provide more communication and awareness materials to inform people on the processes and impacts of the referendum.
The printing equipment will go to the BRC to enable production and distribution of posters, flyers, leaflets, banners and other printed materials. The video equipment is for the Directorate of Media and Communications to facilitate the screening of video messages from both governments and from the BRC in communities across Bougainville.
As for the information materials, it is to ensure that the people of Bougainville and PNG to have a clear understanding of the practical and legal implications for greater autonomy or independence.
Speaking during the ceremony, H.E Satoshi Nakajima said, “I received a request from both the PNG government and the ABG to support the referendum to complete the implementation of the Bougainville peace agreement. The government of Japan remains committed to work together with the government of PNG, ABG, United Nations and other development partners for the better future of the people of PNG and Bougainville.”
Acting Director for the National Coordinating office of Bougainville affairs, John Avira extend his gratitude to the Japanese government for their 3 million Kina contribution towards the Bougainville Referendum Commission.