Latin America and the Caribbean

Prime Minister Abe’s Visit to Trinidad and Tobago

July 30, 2014
Japanese

  •  
    Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting
  •  
    Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting
Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, paid a visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and attended events held in Port of Spain on July 27 and 28. An overview and evaluation of the visit are as follows. This was the first-ever visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by a Japanese Prime Minister.

I Overview

1 Itinerary

July 27

Welcoming ceremony
Japan-Trinidad and Tobago Summit Meeting
Japan-Antigua and Barbuda Summit Meeting
Japan-Jamaica Summit Meeting
Welcome dinner hosted by the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

July 28

Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting
Signing ceremony and joint press announcement
Meetings with leaders of CARICOM member states

2 Japan-Trinidad and Tobago Summit Meeting

  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On Sunday July 27, the Prime Minister Abe held a bilateral meeting with the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and exchanged opinions on the bilateral relations, Japan-CARICOM relations and cooperation in an international arena. Subsequently, five representatives from a Japanese economic mission paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar with the presence of Prime Minister Abe.

3 Japan-Antigua and Barbuda Summit Meeting

  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On Sunday July 27, Prime Minister Abe held a bilateral meeting with the Hon. Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and the two leaders shared views that they would make the first-ever Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting in the Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year 2014 an opportunity to further deepen and expand both bilateral and Japan-CARICOM relations. Moreover, the two leaders exchanged opinions on the bilateral relations and cooperation in an international arena.

4 Japan-Jamaica Summit Meeting

  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On Sunday July 27, Prime Minister Abe held a bilateral meeting with the Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica and exchanged opinions on bilateral relations, economy/economic cooperation, tourism/people-to-people exchanges, Japan-CARICOM relations and cooperation in an international arena.

5 Welcome Dinner hosted by the Hon. Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On Sunday July 27, a welcome dinner hosted by Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar was held and Prime Minister and Mrs. Abe attended the dinner together with the economic mission from Japan. The dinner was held in a friendly atmosphere as the entrance of the venue was decorated like a carnival of Trinidad and Tobago and music was played following the addresses by the two leaders.

6 Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting

  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On Monday July 28, Prime Minister Abe held the first-ever Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting with the attendance of leaders from 14 CARICOM member states. From the CARICOM side, leaders from 10 countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago) attended the meeting while the Cabinet ministers by proxy for their leaders from four countries (the Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica and Suriname). The Secretary-General of CARICOM also attended the meeting.
 At the beginning of the meeting, Prime Minister Abe once again stressed solidarity between Japan and CARICOM member states and disclosed Japan’s policies for CARICOM which consisted of three pillars. Subsequently, Prime Minister Abe actively exchanged opinions with the leaders of CARICOM countries. From the CARICOM side, they welcomed Japan’s policies for the CARICOM and particularly highly appreciated Japan’s understanding of the vulnerabilities particular to small island states. They also expressed expectation toward cooperation from Japan for the issues that each country has faced, such as debt, damage from hurricane disasters, and renewable energy.

7 Signing Ceremony/Joint Press Announcement

  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On Monday July 28, Prime Minister Abe held a joint press announcement on the Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting together with Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago and Prime Minister Browne of Antigua and Barbuda. At the beginning of the joint press announcement, signing of the Grant Aid for Environment/Climate Change Countermeasure Programs “The Project for Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (in coordination with the United Nations Development Programme)” and signing of the “Memorandum for Cooperation (MOC)” concerning cooperation in the field of renewable energy among the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) were held.

8 Meetings with Leaders of CARICOM Countries

  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

 On Monday July 28, Prime Minister Abe held individual meetings with nine leaders from CARICOM member states.
 At the meetings, Prime Minister Abe and leaders from CARICOM member states discussed on the assistance for overcoming the “vulnerabilities particular to small island states,” the project on climate change that had been signed on that day, and cooperation in the international arena, and shared views on enhancing the relations between Japan and each country on the occasion of the Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year 2014. Each country highly appreciated the first-ever summit meeting and also expressed their strong intention to enhance dialogues in various levels and to deepen exchanges.

 The following leaders from nine countries held meetings with Prime Minister Abe:

・The Rt. Hon. Freundel STUART, Prime Minister of Barbados
・The Hon. Roosevelt SKERRIT, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica
・Dr. the Right Hon. Keith MITCHELL, Prime Minister of Grenada
・H.E. Donald RAMOTAR, President of the Republic of Guyana
・H.E. Mr. Michel Joseph MARTELLY, President of the Republic of Haiti
・The Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Llewellyn DOUGLAS, Prime Minister of Saint Christopher and Nevis
・The Hon. Dr. Kenny Davis ANTHONY, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
・Dr. the Hon. Ralph E. GONSALVES, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
・H.E. Robert Ameerali, Vice President of Suriname

(In addition to the above, the Hon. Frederick A. Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of the Bahamas and the Hon. Wilfred Peter Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize paid courtesy calls on Prime Minister Abe and held meetings with Mr. Shinsuke Sugiyama, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs).

II Evaluation

  • 1 The CARICOM side highly appreciated the fact that the first-ever Japan-CARICOM Summit Meeting was held with Prime Minister Abe Visiting CARICOM member state, stating that this demonstrated the fact that Japan attached its importance to CARICOM.
  • 2 After the exchange of straight forward opinions between Prime Minister Abe and the leaders of the CARICOM member states, the CARICOM leaders highly appreciated Japan, which also has small islands, for taking seriously CARICOM’s major concerns playing a role to reflect the voices of the small island states in an international arena, and sincerely responding that Japan will also consider bilateral cooperation.
  • 3 The leaders from Japan and CARICOM member states looked back at the long history of friendship, confirmed expansion of exchanges and cooperation as partners sharing fundamental values, and also confirmed the importance to enhance high-level dialogues, including one between leaders.