Second Japan-CARICOM Ministerial-Level Conference: Bilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meetings (Afternoon, September 1)
September 1, 2010
In the afternoon of September 1 (Wed), Mr. Katsuya Okada had talks separately with the Hon. Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon. Wilfred Peter Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize, and the Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Cooperation of the Republic of Guyana, who are visiting Japan to attend the second Japan-CARICOM Ministerial-Level Conference. The overview of the talks is as follows.
- The Hon. Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
(1) Minister Okada welcomed Minister Rambachan and stated that his visit to Japan this time was the first step in establishing a relationship with the new administration of Trinidad and Tobago and that he hoped to further develop bilateral relations. In response, Minister Rambachan expressed his gratitude for the invitation and stated that he would work to strengthen bilateral relations.
(2) In response to Minister Okada’s inquiry regarding Japanese companies’ interest toward investment in Trinidad and Tobago, Minister Rambachan stated that he intended to promote talks with Japanese companies interested in entering the market of Trinidad and Tobago and expressed his expectations for the advancement of Japan-Trinidad and Tobago economic relations. The two ministers also exchanged views on various issues of the international community including the United Nations Security Council reform and climate change.
- The Hon. Wilfred Peter Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize
(1)Minister Okada welcomed Minister Elrington and stated that the first Honorary Consul General of Japan in Belize City, appointed the previous year, had been actively working in areas of protecting Japanese nationals and cultural exchange. In response, Minister Elrington expressed his joy in visiting Japan and stated that he hoped to strengthen relations with Japan.
(2) Minister Okada stated that Japan had so far provided such assistance to Belize as the acceptance of trainees, technological cooperation through the dispatch of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), and grant assistance for grassroots human security projects, and that Japan intended to continue to support the country through these efforts. Minister Elrington responded by expressing his gratitude and stated that Japan’s assistance to date had played an important role for the Belize government and its people and that he hoped Japan would continue with its assistance. The two ministers also exchanged views on various issues of the international community including the United Nations Security Council reform and climate change.
- The Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Cooperation of the Republic of Guyana
Minister Okada stated that Japan had been cooperating with Guyana, where the CARICOM Secretariat is located, with a focus in areas of the environment, disaster prevention, and poverty reduction. He also said that he was aware of the importance of the Rehabilitation of the East Demerara Water Conservancy, a grant assistance currently under request, and that he would make an effort to implement as swiftly as possible. Minister Rodrigues-Birkett responded by expressing her gratitude for Japan’s assistance including assistance for the construction of the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana, and stated that in light of the fact that 90 percent of the population of Guyana lived in coastal areas, she had high expectations for Japan’s assistance for the Eastern Demerara Reservoir Management Project and that it would have tremendous impact.
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