Latin America and the Caribbean

Japan-Antigua and Barbuda Summit Meeting

July 28, 2014
Japanese

On Sunday, July 27, Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, who was paying a visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, held a bilateral meeting with The Hon.Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. An overview of the meeting is as follows. (This was Prime Minister Abe’s first summit meeting between The Hon. Browne, who became the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda through the general election last June.) 

1.Opening

Prime Minister Abe congratulated Prime Minister Browne on his inauguration as the prime minister and also congratulated Antigua and Barbuda on chairing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In response, Prime Minister Browne stated that Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the Caribbean region is a historic event. The two leaders welcomed the realization of the first-ever Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting on the occasion of the Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year 2014 and at the same time shared their views that they would make this an opportunity to further deepen and expand both bilateral relations and Japan-CARICOM relations.

2.Bilateral relations

(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that the two countries share basic values and have maintained traditionally friendly relations as island countries, and added that people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, not only of government officials but of youth, have been progressing. Prime Minister Abe also stated that the Government of Japan has provided cooperation particularly in the fields of disaster risk reduction and the environment as well as fishery, and that Japan was implementing research for an early implementation of the Project for Improvement of Fishery Equipment/Machinery in Antigua and Barbuda. Prime Minister Abe added that he would continue to provide assistance for overcoming “vulnerabilities particular to small island countries.”

(2) Prime Minister Browne stated that Japan shared interests with Antigua and Barbuda and the two countries were commonly interested in sustainable use of fishery resources as island countries. Prime Minister Browne, stating that he would enhance economic relations and cooperation in an international arena with Japan, expressed his deep gratitude for Japan’s assistance in the fields of development, fishery and human resource raising. Moreover, Prime Minister. Browne expressed his gratitude for Japan’s understanding of vulnerabilities particular to small island countries and stated that small island countries are influenced by climate change such as coastal erosion while also greatly influenced by recession of the global economy. Prime Minister Browne added that although he had implemented Gastonomics (named after the first name of Prime Minister Browne), the policy has not been enough and expressed his expectation toward assistance from Japan.

3.Cooperation in international arenas

The two leaders shared their views on continuing cooperation in international arenas such as the UN Security Council reform and sustainable use of marine living resources.