New ambassador pledges to strengthen Japan-Ja partnership
New Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica Hiromasa Yamazaki has pledged to continue building bridges of cooperation and friendship between Japan and Jamaica.
Speaking at a reception at his residence in St Andrew on Wednesday to celebrate the 84th birthday of Emperor Akihito of Japan, Ambassador Yamazaki said that the relationship that exists between Jamaica and Japan is strong.
"This friendship is much appreciated and made possible by the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and other ministries. Together, we have successfully implemented projects for the benefit of the people of Jamaica as well as promoted people-to-people exchanges between Tottori Prefecture of Japan and the parish of Westmoreland," he said.
"I will use the embassy as a platform to further energise the strong bond of cooperation and friendship between both countries. I will seek to act as a bridge between Japanese and Jamaican business communities and encourage private-sector exchanges," the ambassador added.
Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, who represented Foreign Affairs and foreign trade minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, spoke glowingly of the 53-year relationship and collaboration between both countries.
He cited trade and investment, agriculture, energy, education, music and sport as areas to benefit from the existing close relationship.
"In recent years, we have welcomed the strengthening of our bilateral ties through the implementation of Japan's Three Pillars policy approach to its relations with CARICOM countries. The Government of Jamaica is, therefore, deeply appreciative of Japan's policy of extending assistance to small island developing states like Jamaica," Chuck said.
The minister said that the partnership has been enhanced by ongoing bilateral exchanges at the highest level, including the signing in April of a grant agreement for $1.6 billion to bolster the island's emergency communication system, as well as the handover of state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment for the improvement of the exhibitions at the Institute of Jamaica.
"Other developments include the provision of a US$15-million concessionary loan from the Japan International Agency for Cooperation to bolster the Government's efforts in the areas of energy efficiency and conservation," he noted.