Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said the foundation has been laid for a solid relationship between Japan and the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and he is looking forward to the strengthening of that association.
Stuart’s comments came during a recent courtesy call at Ilaro Court by the Ambassador and Special Envoy for the CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year, Ken Shimanouchi.
He stressed that CARICOM and Japan could build on that foundation and work very closely on issues of mutual benefit.
Ambassador Shimanouchi agreed, saying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a good foreign policy and recognised the importance of CARICOM.
Shimanouchi noted that Barbados and Japan had maintained an excellent bilateral relationship over the years and expressed a desire to continue working on matters of mutual interest, including climate change and the post-2015 development agenda.
During the wide-ranging talks, Prime Minister Stuart and the envoy discussed Japan’s candidature to the United Nations Security Council, and the vulnerabilities of small island developing states, among other issues.
The meeting came on the heels of the first CARICOM-Japan Summit, which was held in July in Trinidad and Tobago. Those discussions were concentrated on three areas, namely, the vulnerabilities of CARICOM countries and necessary cooperation for their sustainable growth; strengthening exchanges and bonds of friendship; and deepening cooperation in the international arena.
Prime Minister Stuart and his Japanese counterpart also co-chaired a 45-minute session on resilience during the recently-held UN Climate Change Summit.