Speech

Prime Minister Abe,
Distinguished Guests,
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we have talked about the real threat posed by climate change. For both Japan and Jamaica climate change spells disaster. We certainly value the strong support Japan has been providing to Jamaica and the other Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean region to develop climate resilient communities, adaption strategies and technologies.

Prime Minister Abe, I welcome your call for more robust action on climate change as well as your pledges towards the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund and I encourage others to follow your sterling example.

This evening, Prime Minister Abe and I had a very productive discussion on the scope of Jamaica-Japan relations and our shared vision on how to further enhance our engagement for mutual benefit. My visit marks a new stage in our relationship and provides a great opportunity to learn from your experiences and from your history in creating a prosperous nation.

For over five decades, Japan has been a major partner and genuine friend to Jamaica. Japan has consistently demonstrated its friendship to Jamaica in numerous ways, including through technical and economic programmes and volunteer missions in diverse areas. We are deeply grateful for these contributions to our national development efforts.

As yet another demonstration of this generosity, Japan will provide Jamaica with maritime patrol vessels. This offer, which was finalised today with the signing of an Exchange of Notes, will significantly enhance Jamaica’s maritime security and disaster response capacity.

Prime Minister Abe and I also discussed the importance of our trade and investment relationship. I was pleased to highlight the significant investments of Japanese businesses in Jamaica. Likewise, Jamaican products such as our world famous Blue Mountain Coffee have received overwhelming support and reception here in Japan. We have agreed to do more to encourage trade and investment and have already taken steps in that direction with the signing of the Double Taxation Convention between our two countries, a short while ago.

Prime Minister,
I know that Japan is making final preparations to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I want to use this opportunity to wish the Government and people of Japan in this great task – great success. Jamaica is looking forward to the Games, and to fielding a strong contingent in Tokyo.

In closing, I offer our warmest congratulations to the Government and people of Japan as you embark on the Reiwa (Rei-wa) era and express our heartfelt wishes for the reign of Emperor Naruhito (Na-ru-hito) to sustain the peace, harmony and prosperity of Japan.
I look forward in particular to the continued collaboration towards the strengthening of the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Jamaica and Japan.

I thank you.