Statement by Senator the Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on the Fourth CARICOM-Japan Ministerial Meeting
Tokyo, Japan, 14th & 15th November 2014
I am pleased to advise this Honourable Senate that I led Jamaica’s delegation to the Fourth CARICOM-Japan Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo from 14th-15th November 2014, the main purpose of which was to strengthen relations and cooperation between CARICOM and Japan. The meeting took on added significance, this year being the commemoration of CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year, and for Jamaica, the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with Japan.
Japan is an important developed partner to both Jamaica and CARICOM. It has been playing a critical role in supporting the region’s development process in various sectors and has been a reliable ally in advocating on international issues of strategic interest to CARICOM, including climate change and its impact on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The First CARICOM-Japan Consultative Meeting was held in Jamaica in 1993, which marked the beginning of a series of consultations and Ministerial Meetings to expand cooperation between both sides.
Outcome of the Ministerial Meeting
The Ministerial Meeting was well attended by all Member States. The Foreign Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr Fumio Kishida, Co-chaired the Meeting with the Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, the Foreign Minister of Guyana, in her capacity as Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR).
Discussions culminated in a “Ministerial Joint Statement between CARICOM and Japan”, which reinforces the commitments of both sides to strengthen existing cooperation, explore new initiatives and to collaborate at the multilateral level.
Japan reaffirmed its continued technical assistance to CARICOM States, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in renewable energy and energy efficiency, natural disaster risk reduction, climate change, measures against environmental degradation, sustainable fisheries, waste management, and sustainable development, as it relates to the peculiarities and vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The Meeting discussed new approaches to expand the bonds of friendship through sport programmes, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, such as the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, and the Invitation Programme for Young Officials of the Caribbean Community. Japan also affirmed its intention to promote assistance for Japanese language education at the UWI through ICT…READ MORE