CARICOM Young Diplomats, Government Officials experience culture of Japan

Participants of the Juntos programme at the Hiroshima Castle in Japan
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Fourteen CARICOM Young Diplomats and Government Officials visited Japan recently under the “Juntos!! Japan-Latin America and the Caribbean exchange programme”. The programme falls under the “Japan’s Friendship Ties Programmes” which promotes people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the various nations of the Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean countries. It also aims to encourage understanding of Japan’s economy, society, history, diverse culture, politics and diplomatic relations among the participants.

The group included representatives from 12 CARICOM Member States, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). The visit began with an orientation session hosted at the Japan Tourist Bureau offices and included a number of activities, lectures and workshops that focused on Japan’s Security Policy, Diplomatic Relations with CARICOM and Japan’s assistance to the CARICOM region.

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There was also a welcome reception in honour of the participants hosted by Ambassador Takashiro Nakamae, Assistant Minister, Director General of Latin America and Caribbean Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, and a dinner hosted by former Ambassadors to the CARICOM Region from Japan. Ambassador to Japan from Jamaica, Mr. Ricardo Allicock, was also at the dinner. The group also had a courtesy call with the Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kiyoto Tsuji. There were also visits to various cultural sites across three Japanese cities: Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Representative from the CARICOM Secretariat Ms. Jascene Dunkley-Malcolm said it was an enriching experience.

“We learnt quite a lot about Japan’s Diplomatic relations with CARICOM countries, their contributions through organisations such as JICA and their disaster risk management research. We did a tour of their waste management facilities which left us in awe because it was so innovative and we also saw a future smart house being developed by Panasonic and a demonstration of a robot at a Honda show room. They also took us to Kyoto and Hiroshima where we saw various landmarks and shrines and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and museum,” she explained.

This programme is expected to include approximately 5,700 people who will be sent to or from Japan and the Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean countries in a year. Participants are expected to proactively disseminate information on Japan’s attractions and contribute to promoting sustained attention to Japan.

See more on the visit here

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