The Sixth Japan-CARICOM Ministerial-Level Conference
September 24, 2018
- On Monday, September 24, commencing at 3:30 p.m. (New York time; 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 25, Japan time) for approximately 60 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held the Sixth Japan-CARICOM Ministerial-Level Conference with foreign ministers and other representatives from the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which is made up of 14 countries in the Caribbean region, during his visit to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
- At the beginning, Minister Kono stated that Japan and CARICOM share fundamental values such as democracy and the rule of law, and have built an amicable and cooperative relationship over many years. Minister Kono noted that exchanges between the two sides are expanding, and explained that Japan is steadily implementing support for CARICOM based on the three pillars of Japan's CARICOM Policy, and intends to further strengthen the relationship in the future. In response, the Hon. Darren Allen Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the co-chair for the CARICOM side, and the representatives of other CARICOM countries stated that Japan and the CARICOM member countries are partners that have maintained a friendly and cooperative relationship over many years that is based on mutual interests, and expressed their intention to continue advancing Japan-CARICOM relations in the future also.
- In addition, Minister Kono stated that Japan intends to continue to advance cooperation that contributes to overcoming the vulnerabilities that the CARICOM member countries face in the fields of the environment, disaster risk reduction, fisheries and energy, and explained that he hopes to continue friendly cooperation through sports as we move towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
- In response, the CARICOM side expressed gratitude for Japan's development cooperation in the Caribbean region, and in particular for support that includes technical cooperation and the dispatch of volunteers. The CARICOM side also voiced expectation that cooperation in the fields of energy, the environment, climate change and disaster risk reduction, infrastructure and fisheries will continue. In addition, the CARICOM side extended its condolences over the various natural disasters that occurred throughout Japan this year, and expressed the view that climate change and disaster risk reduction are immediate and pressing challenges for both sides, and are issues that the two sides should deal with together.
- Furthermore, at the conference Japan and CARICOM discussed sustainable use of living marine resources, United Nations Security Council reform, North Korean issues including the abductions, and tax transparency. Japan and CARICOM confirmed that they will continue to cooperate in the international arena.
[Reference 2 ] Representatives of CARICOM member states
- Hon. Everly Paul Chet Greene，Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration of Antigua and Barbuda
- Hon. Darren Allan Henfield，Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas
- Sen. the Hon. Dr. Jerome Walcott，Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados
- Hon. Wilfred Elrington， Minister of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs of Belize
- Sen. the Hon. Francine Baron, Minister for Foreign Affairs and CARICOM Affairs of the Commonwealth of Dominica
- Hon. Peter David，Minister for Foreign Affairs and Labour of Grenada
- Hon. Carl B. Greenidge，Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana
- H.E. Mr. Bocchit Edmond，Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worships of the Republic of Haiti
- Sen. The Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica
- Hon. Mark A. G. Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation of St. Christopher and Nevis
- Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun，Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and Public Service of St. Lucia
- Hon. Louis Straker, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sen. the Hon. Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
- H.E. Mr. Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community
[Reference 3] The three pillars of "Japan's CARICOM Policy", as announced by Prime Minister Abe in 2014
- First Pillar: Cooperation towards sustainable development including overcoming vulnerabilities particular to Small Island Developing States
- Second Pillar: Deepening and expanding bonds founded on exchanges and friendship
- Third Pillar: Cooperation in addressing challenges of the international community