Japan-Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Relations

August 7, 2018
Salute and the guard of honor ceremony Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Salute and the guard of honor ceremony Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
On August 7, commencing at 6:15 p.m. for approximately 40 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who is making an official working visit to Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows. The meeting was attended by Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Kotaro Nogami, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, among other governmental officials.

After the summit meeting, the two leaders held a joint press announcement. Following that, a banquet hosted by Prime Minister Abe took place in a relaxed atmosphere, and the conversation touched on a broad range of topics relating to the bilateral relationship.
Leaders shaking hands Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Japan- Saint Vincent Summit Meeting Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office

1 Opening remarks

(1) Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Gonsalves's visit to Japan, and stated that, with Prime Minister Gonsalves, the most influential figure of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) leaders, he would like to further strengthen the traditional friendly relationship between Japan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and between Japan and CARICOM, that have been activating since the Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year 2014. 

(2) In response, Prime Minister Gonsalves expressed his gratitude for the invitation to Japan. He commented that Japan possesses a rich store of knowledge which will contribute to solution of global issues, and that he expect Japan to demonstrate its leadership in the international community, making the best use of the bilateral and Japan-CARICOM cooperation.

2 Bilateral relations

(1) Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan put emphasis on cooperation with St. Vincent ant the Grenadines that contributes toward overcoming its vulnerabilities, and would keep its cooperation focusing on areas of disaster risk reduction, environment and fisheries. In addition, Prime Minister Abe conveyed his decision of the relaxation of multiple-entry visas for nationals of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in order to expand and deepen bonds of exchange and friendship between both countries.

(2) Furthermore, on Japan-CARICOM relationship, Prime Minister Abe mentioned that Japan and CARICOM countries share fundamental values such as democracy and the rule of law, and thus are important partners for realizing peace and prosperity in the international community. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan's intention to maintain and strengthen high-level dialogues with CARICOM countries.

(3) Prime Minister Gonsalves, appreciating Japan's cooperation so far, expressed his expectation to Japan's continuous cooperation with St. Vincent and the Grenadines in various fields, with the recognition of the Caribbean region as a strategically important region. He also mentioned his expectation to further promotion of people-to-people exchange and investment from Japan. Regarding the cooperation through CARICOM, Prime Minister stated that St. Vincent and the Grenadines would like to contribute to further strengthening cooperation with Japan as the president of Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

3 Cooperation in the regional and the international arenas

Joint press announcement Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Joint press announcement Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
(1) The two leaders shared the view that they will deepen the cooperative relationship in the international arena, such as UN Security Council reform and the sustainable use of living marine resources including cetaceans. In this context, Prime Minister Abe explained Japan's proposal on reform of International Whaling Commission (IWC) for its General Assembly in the coming September. In response, Prime Minister Gonsalves expressed his support for the proposal.

(2)With regard to North Korea, the two leaders confirmed the need to realize the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges. They also shared the view that they would continue to work together for the full implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. In addition, Prime Minister Abe requested understanding and cooperation towards promptly resolving the abductions issue, and obtained the support of Prime Minister Gonsalves.
[Reference 1] CARICOM (The Caribbean Community)
(1) CARICOM is established in 1973 based on Chagaramas Agreement. The Secretariat is located in Republic of Guyana.
(2) CARICOM is a regional organization with the purposes of encouraging cooperation in the field of advancing regional economic integration, coordination of foreign policies, health and medical care, education and others.
(3)Member states are the following 14 countries and 1 region;
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana,   Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Christopher-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Montserrat (British overseas territory)

[Reference 2] Relaxation of multiple visa issuance requirements for stay with business purposes and for cultural or intellectual figures
The main contents of the relaxation are as fellows.
(1)Extension of the validity period (3 years ⇒ 5 years)
(2)Expansion of the scope of applicants (lawyers, certified Public Accountants, patent attorneys, doctors, public officials and others will be added.)

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