Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar earlier this evening (Sunday 27th July) welcomed her counterpart, His Excellency Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, on his first visit by a Japanese Prime Minister to Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.
Following His Excellency Abe’s arrival in Trinidad and Tobago, both Prime Ministers met in a round of bilateral discussions at the Diplomatic Centre in St. Ann’s.
High on the agenda was the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which establishes international standards for the movement of conventional arms and ammunition across borders. Both Japan and Trinidad and Tobago signed the treaty in 2013.
In the meeting, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar sought the support of the Japanese Government to support Trinidad and Tobago’s bid to host the ATT Secretariat.
Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar also recognised Japan’s and Trinidad and Tobago’s bid for non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
His Excellency Shinzo Abe expressed his gratitude to the Trinidad and Tobago Government for its decision to waive entry visa requirements for Japanese nationals entering the country for business and tourism purposes for a maximum period of 90 days.
During the discussions His Excellency raised the matter of deepening bilateral relations and requested that the Prime Minister consider opening a Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. The Prime Minister promised to immediately engage in discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on this issue.
Discussions between the two Prime Ministers also focused on Trinidad and Tobago as an attractive destination for trade and investment, in particular, the recent launch of the Tamana Intech Park, the first science and technology park in the Caribbean.
The Prime Minister encouraged Japanese firms to take up residency, particularly firms involved in the areas of ICTs, Clean Technologies, and Agro-processing. She advised that the Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications would pursue discussions with relevant members of the delegation during their stay.
The Japanese Prime Minister agreed to consider further areas of cooperation in such ventures.
The Honourable Prime Minister noted the positive impact on the South-Western peninsula with regard to job creation by the introduction of the dimethyl ether (DME) Project, which has been established by the Massy Group, the Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical.
Matters regarding climate change, renewable energy, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), crime and security, triangular co-operation, and the environment were also pursued ahead of the Japan-CARICOM Summit to be held tomorrow, Monday 28th July 2014, at the Hilton.
The Japanese Prime Minister recognised the role Trinidad and Tobago plays in CARICOM and advised that Japan would host the 4th Japan/CARICOM Foreign Ministers Forum in Tokyo.