Japan-Barbados Relations

May 2, 2023
Two Ministers who shake hands facing straight at a camera
Two Ministers who have a talk after having a seat at a table

On May 2, commencing at 9:10 a.m. (local time. 10:10 p.m. on the same day, JST.) for approximately 75 minutes, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting with The Hon. Kerrie D. Symmonds, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

  1. At the outset, Minister Hayashi stated that he is pleased to visit Barbados as the first Japanese Foreign Minister, and expressed Barbados is an important partner who shares values and principles, and Japan will further deepen our close cooperation in various international arena. In response, Minister Symmonds welcomed Minister Hayashi’s visit, and expressed his desire to further strengthen amicable bilateral relationships.
  2. Minister Hayashi explained that Japan provides finely-tuned assistance to CARICOM Member States including Barbados, according to the circumstances of each country, as part of cooperation aimed at overcoming the vulnerabilities particular to small island states, and in particular to Barbados, as part of measures to protect environment and adapt to climate change, Japan is providing grant assistance in order to remove Sargassum seaweed, which damages the beautiful landscapes and marine environment, and which adversely affects major industries of the country such as tourism and fisheries. Minister Hayashi also stated that Japan will continue to provide necessary assistance in the field of environment, climate change, and disaster risk reduction to overcome vulnerabilities particular to small island states. In response, Minister Symmonds expressed his gratitude for Japan’s support in line with Barbados’ development challenges and requested for continued support.
  3. Two ministers discussed climate change and development financing, and Minister Hayashi explained Japan’s efforts to tackle climate change. Minister Symmonds responded that climate change is the greatest threat to small island developing states and appreciated Japan’s actions. Minister Symmonds also stated Barbados hopes to deepen cooperation with Japan on the issue of global development financing, including the “Bridgetown Initiative, announced by Barbados last year concerning climate change and economic development. In response, Minister Hayashi praised Barbados’ efforts for leading the discussions.
  4. Minister Hayashi stated that Japan hopes to deepen cooperation to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law and share this vision and cooperate with Barbados towards realizing a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" or so-called “FOIP.In response, Foreign Minister Symmonds showed understanding for Japan’s initiative.
  5. The two ministers exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine and reaffirmed that any unilateral change to the status quo by force is unacceptable, anywhere in the world. Minister Hayashi stated that as the only country which has ever suffered atomic bombings during wartime, Japan absolutely cannot accept Russia’s nuclear threat, let alone the actual use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.
  6. The two ministers exchanged views on the situation in East Asia, including the response to North Korea in the face of its nuclear and missile activities as well as responses to other issue of the international community, such as economic security issues including economic coercion, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, strengthening the function of the United Nations as a whole, including UN Security Council reform, and confirmed that they would continue to work together. In addition, Minister Hayashi expressed his gratitude to Barbados for its support in the international arena and both ministers concurred that they will continue to further promote cooperation.
  7. Two ministers confirmed the importance of transparent and fair development financing.
  8. Two ministers discussed the importance of people-to-people exchanges, which underscore bilateral relations, and they confirmed their cooperation to strengthen bilateral exchanges as well as between Japan and CARICOM towards the “Japan CARICOM Friendship Year 2024”.

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