Newly appointed Japanese Ambassador to Barbados Teruhiko Shinada is on a mission to bring his country’s people and Barbadians closer together.
Addressing members of Rotary South at the Accra Beach Hotel on Wednesday, he gave brief insight into some areas of the programme he will pursue during his tenure.
These include a series of cultural events.
“Our chief aim is to get the people of the two countries closer and to know each other better. This will be done to promote our bilateral relations towards the future,” he said.
The Japanese Ambassador reminded his audience that while Japan and Barbados had established diplomatic relations 50 years ago, their association goes as far back as 1941 when war broke out between his country and the United States.
Ambassador Shinada recalled that several prominent Japanese citizens who resided in Washington DC tried to return to Japan but were captured by a British warship and kept in Barbados, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom at that time.
He said while the captives complained that life was harsh as prisoners of war, they spoke highly of the treatment they received from the Barbadian people.After the war ended, those who managed to return to Japan established a group in the late 1940s called the Barbados Association.Ambassador Shinada said while the association no longer exists, as most of the members have died, it is accepted that the Japanese who were here loved Barbados and Barbadians.