Japan delegation calls on PM, other officials

A delegation from the Japanese House of Councillors on Tuesday met with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and other Government officials.

The team, led by Seko Hiroshige, secretary general for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the House of Councillors of Japan, and a former minister of economy, trade and industry, included Sakai Yasuyuki, Ohno Yasutada and Horii Iwao, after paying a courtesy call on the prime minister, met with Foreign Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, and later with Thomas Tavares-Finson, president of the Senate.

A release from the Japan Embassy in Kingston said the delegation exchanged views on bilateral relationship with Jamaica, including measures to expand trade and investment between the two countries; the establishment of an information sharing platform seen that both countries are island nations.

“They also exchanged opinions on various issues in the international arena such as peace and stability of the international community, as well as climate change,” said the release.

The delegation, at the same time, confirmed Japan’s commitment to promote cooperation not only bilaterally but also with Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries.

The Japanese team also visited UCC Craighton Estates, which is managed by Japanese company UCC (Ueshima Coffee Co Ltd). The estates have the highest quality coffee in the Blue Mountains, and toured South Jamaica Power Center (SJPC), an affiliate of Marubeni Corporation. SJPC replaced an ageing heavy oil-fired facility with the efficient gas-fired power plant, contributing to a reduction in emissions, enhanced energy security, and disaster preparedness.

The year 2024 is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Jamaica as well as the “Japan-Caricom Friendship Year”.

“Taking advantage of this year, both Jamaican and Japanese sides concurred to strengthen cooperation between the members of parliaments of both countries, such as a promotion of the Japan-Caricom Parliamentary Friendship League and the establishment of Japan-Jamaica Parliamentary Friendship League,” the embassy said.