Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to do all he can to help the people of Vanuatu as they come to terms with the damage left by a devastating cyclone.

Abe met the country’s President Baldwin Lonsdale on Saturday on the sidelines of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in the northeastern Japanese city of Sendai.

Abe extended his sympathy to the people of Vanuatu.

He said Japan is ready to whatever it can to help them, adding that he has already instructed officials to respond swiftly.

Lonsdale thanked Abe for his words and offer of help.

Abe said natural disasters pose a great challenge for island nations.

He said he wants to discuss the issue at an upcoming summit between Japan and Pacific island countries.

The Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting is scheduled for May in Fukushima Prefecture, which bore the brunt of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear accident at a power plant.

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