Heads of Government of the fourteen Caribbean Community (CARICOM) “were heartened” by their Japanese counterpart’s Shinzo Abe positive response to a number of issues raised during their one-day summit in Guyana.
We are heartened by the response of Prime Minister Abe on a number of issues such as reform of international financial governance and development financing said CARICOM chairman Gaston Browne following the first ever CARICOM-Japan Summit.
“The case therefore would need to be made to the international community by Development Partners such as Japan, for new alternative sources of development financing to be made available to CARICOM States and other Middle Income countries with similar vulnerabilities,” he said.
This is of particular importance to CARICOM countries faced with the loss of concessionary development financing due to their classification as Middle Income Countries which precludes them from access to such funding based on their per capita income. Browne said “we welcomed Japan’s support for including the issue of vulnerability in this regard as a criterion.”
Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan’s policy towards CARICOM consisted of three pillars. These he identified as cooperation towards sustainable development including overcoming vulnerabilities particular to small island states; deepening and expanding bonds founded on exchanges and friendship; and cooperation in addressing challenges of the international community.
Stressing Japan’s solidarity with the CARICOM Member States, the Prime Minister said Japan itself was a country that included small islands. “Japan and CARICOM countries are maritime island nations, surrounded by the ocean, enjoying its blessings, and regarding the safety of the ocean as the safety of its own,” he added.
PM Abe said Japan looked “to dramatically expand” the reach of exchanges with CARICOM which were already elevated through the Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year 2014. The parties agreed that there should be regular meetings to further strengthen the relationship
On the issue of challenges of the international community, Abe said Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, would see Japan “engaged more proactively in strengthening our UN diplomacy”.
“Japan places importance in our policy dialogue with Caricom member states which share fundamental values as it looks to strengthening its diplomatic structure,” he said.
“Japan will work with the Caricom member states in promoting the three principles of the rule of law at sea: 1) making and clarifying claims based on international law; 2) not using force or coercion; 3) seeking to settle disputes by peaceful means in the international community”.
The Japanese PM is currently on a tour of Latin America and the Caribbean to prop trade, business, investment and political support for Tokyo's aspiration of a seat at the expanded UN Security Council.