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JM | Jul 21, 2021

Jamaica, Japan forging closer economic partnership

/ Our Today

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Relationship needed in response to economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.

Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade is forging a closer partnership with the Japanese government to respond to the economic challenges caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

This was disclosed by Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, foreign affairs and foreign trade minister, during a virtual press briefing yesterday at her ministry’s headquarters in Kingston, following the first official working visit of the Foreign Minister of Japan Toshimitsu Motegi.

“We’ve also discussed matters of global importance and emphasised the need for the international community to ensure equitable access to vaccines, especially for developing countries.”

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade

Johnson Smith pointed out that it was agreed that economic cooperation via increased focus on trade and investment and access to financing would boost sustainable recovery.

“We’ve also discussed matters of global importance and emphasised the need for the international community to ensure equitable access to vaccines, especially for developing countries,” she said.

Johnson Smith highlighted that the Japan-Jamaica Partnership has bolstered the country’s efforts to manage the social and economic effects of the pandemic, through grant aids given for medical supplies over the island.

Japan looking for cooperation in certain areas

For his part, Motegi acknowledged that his government is considering cooperation in the areas of environmental security and disaster risk reduction to overcome vulnerabilities for small island states and attaining sustainable development.

“We also pay attention to the special economic zone that Jamaica has been promoting, and I hope that it will lead to strengthening our bilateral economic relationship,” he remarked.

Johnson Smith advised that the two also discussed the technical cooperation programme that helps to support energy proficiency, maritime security, training and scholarships, tourism promotion and sports.

Toshimitsu Mote, foreign minister of Japan. (Photo: Reuters)

Motegi contended that responding to global challenges such as climate change is also essential, because both Japan and Jamaica remain devoted to the Paris Agreement.

Johnson Smith pointed to the Paris Agreement, which is a legally necessary international treaty on climate change with a goal to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

According to Johnson Smith, “while we remain to deepen South-South cooperation, we, hence, value our understandings with more industrialised nations, which amplify our concerns in important fora such as the G7 and G20, a role which Japan remains to play in its advocacy within the international community.

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