PNG PORTS boss Stanley Alphonse used the September visit of a squadron from the Japanese Defence Force to outline plans to develop Port Moresby Port.

The members of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force training squad visited the port in late September as part of a three-day visit, with 750 navy personnel arriving on three vessels and a helicopter.

Commanding officer Captain Tetsuya Morita said he was happy to be back in Papua New Guinea, noting that the city had developed significantly since his first visit more than a quarter of a century ago.

Mr Alphonse was quick to assure Captain Morita that more development was on the way, telling him that the next time the Japanese visited, they may berth on the other side of the bay, at Motukea

“We will be freeing up this area for more development. Our Port Moresby Port wharves will be relocated to Motukea in about five years’ time,” he said.

Mr Alphonse presented a plaque to Captain Morita and the Japanese squadron in recognition of their visit before a reception was held with attendance from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Japanese ambassador to PNG, Morio Matsumoto.

In his address to the reception, Mr O’Neill stressed the importance of bilateral relations between Japan and PNG, while acknowledging the financial assistance Japan has provided to PNG.

The visit provided an opportunity for the Japanese and PNG defence forces to interact, learn from one another and develop relationships, Mr Alphonse said, with the two sides even competing in a lighthearted sports competition.

The Japanese representatives also took the opportunity to honour the war dead of both nations by laying wreaths to commemorate those who lost their lives during the World War Two.