Improving East Micronesia Telecommunications Connectivity

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—The Peoples and Governments of Australia, Japan, and the United States of America are committed to assisting the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of Kiribati, and the Republic of Nauru to improve internet connectivity by providing funding to build a new undersea cable.

Immediately below this text are links to the Australia-FSM-Japan-Kiribati-Nauru-USA Joint Media Statement as can be seen from the Australian, Japanese, and American Governments’ pages. Below those links are quotations attributable to His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the FSM. Following these quotations by President Panuelo is the entire Joint Media Statement from Australia, the FSM, Japan, Kiribati, Nauru, and the United States of America. Photos present in this release are attributable to both US Embassy Kolonia and the Office of the President of the FSM.

Australia Joint Statement Link:

Japan Joint Statement Link:

United States of America Joint Statement Link:

“On behalf of the People and Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, I extend our Nation’s utmost gratitude to the Peoples and Governments of Australia, Japan, and the United States of America, for their extension of peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity to the People of Micronesia, including our brothers and sisters in Nauru and Kiribati. I wish to thank Australia for taking the lead role in proposing and driving this vital development project; I wish to thank Japan for always showing through actions the reality of what our Kizuna
or Special Bond means in promoting our national and regional prosperity; and I wish to thank the United States of America for their Enduring Partnership, for showing us the relationship between national security and safe telecommunications. I collectively thank Australia, Japan, and the United States for their mutual commitments, demonstrated through action, to a Free & Open Indo-Pacific as part of the broader Indo-Pacific Strategy; I collectively thank Australia, Japan, and the United States for their commitments to democratic renewal, and the promotion of human rights, including the right to communication; and I collectively thank Australia, Japan, and the United States for their genuine interest in helping to meet the development needs of some of the World’s most vulnerable and remote populations.”

“While I am confident that the academics of the World will look at this amazing news from a geopolitical lens, I know from my own conversations with Australia, Japan, and the United States, that this project started with, and has always been about, the simple truth that the People of Micronesia, the People of Nauru, and the People of Kiribati, need better telecommunications infrastructure. This project will have the practical effect of democratizing knowledge around our islands, and so this is objectively good news for our People, and a project I am bottomlessly thankful to see come to fruition.”


Senator The Hon. Marise Payne Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Australia
His Excellency David W. Panuelo President of the Federated States of Micronesia
His Excellency HAYASHI Yoshimasa Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan
His Excellency Taneti Maamau President of the Republic of Kiribati
His Excellency Lionel Aingimea President of the Republic of Nauru
The Honorable Antony J. Blinken Secretary of State, United States of America


11/12 December 2021

Australia, Japan, and the United States are committed to working in partnership with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, and Nauru to improve internet connectivity to these three Pacific nations by providing funding to build a new undersea cable.

The proposed undersea cable will provide faster, higher quality, and more reliable and secure communications to approximately 100,000 people across three countries. This will support increased economic growth, drive development opportunities, and help to improve living standards as the region recovers from the severe impacts of COVID-19.

The new cable will connect Kosrae (FSM), Nauru, and Tarawa (Kiribati) with the existing HANTRU-1 cable at Pohnpei (FSM), providing internet connectivity through a submarine cable for the first time.

Improved connectivity and access to digital technologies can provide significant economic and social benefits and are key enablers of sustainable development. They also help increase the availability of digital government services, particularly in education and health, and provide businesses and households with improved access to services, information and trade, and employment opportunities.

This six-country collaboration highlights our commitment to work together on critical telecommunications infrastructure and contribute to reliable and secure internet for the region.

We will continue to coordinate closely with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to ensure this project complements investments by these institutions to enhance digital connectivity in FSM, Kiribati, and Nauru.

This is more than an infrastructure investment. It represents an enduring partnership to deliver practical and meaningful solutions at a time of unprecedented economic and strategic challenges in our region. This project builds on the strong foundations of trilateral collaboration between Australia, Japan, and the United States in the Indo-Pacific, including support for Palau’s undersea cable.

It is a further demonstration of our shared commitment to quality, transparent, fiscally sustainable, catalytic infrastructure partnerships with, and between, Pacific nations. These partnerships meet genuine needs, respect the sovereignty, and complement the Trilateral Infrastructure Partnership and the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative. Trilateral partners will continue to work together to promote an open, inclusive and resilient region.


Media Contacts:

Australia: David Wroe +61 429 531 143; Melanie Ruiz +61 427 888 392
Federated States of Micronesia: Richard Clark,
Japan: Mr.OHNUMA Kazuyoshi +81 90 1031 5440; Mr.MORI Yuichiro +81 90 3002 2614
Kiribati: Tearinibeia Enoo-Teabo:; +686 75021183 | +686 73048667
Nauru: Ms Joanna Olsson +674 557 3009
United States:; +1 202 647-2492