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SHIMUKAPPU, Hokkaido (Kyodo) The leaders of Japan and Pacific island nations gathered Friday for a two-day meeting in Hokkaido, where they are expected to agree on the creation of a “Pacific environment community” to work together in dealing with climate change.

At the fifth Japan-Pacific Islands Forum summit in Shimukappu, involving 17 countries and regions, Prime Minister Taro Aso will pledge a combined ¥50 billion in official development assistance to the island nations over the next three years, Japanese government officials said.

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