Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, are expected to arrive in Trinidad and Tobago at 3 p.m. today for an official two-day visit. They will be met by Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran.
This first visit to the Caribbean is part of an 11-day trip to Latin America (Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil) and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Japanese prime minister will then pay a private courtesy call on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at 4.45 p.m. at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.
Later on today, Persad-Bissessar will host a welcome banquet at the Diplomatic Centre at 7 p.m.
Tomorrow, the Japanese prime minister and a number of Caricom leaders are expected to meet around 9 a.m.
Among the leaders expected to attend this summit are Caricom chairman and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller and President of Haiti Michel Martelly.
Abe’s visit has political and economic significance both for Japan, as well as the countries of the region.
A survey of international media shows Abe’s stop in Trinidad and Tobago is being viewed as politically the most significant because Japan would be looking for support from the 14 Caricom states for its bid for a rotating seat on the UN Security Council, the election of which comes up in October 2016. China is opposed to Japan’s candidacy.
A release from the Caricom Secretariat states the Japan/summit’s agenda issues for discussion include: The vulnerabilities of Caricom and the necessary co-operation for its sustainable growth; strengthening exchanges and the bonds of friendship; and deepening co-operation in the international arena…READ MORE