Remarks By the Honourable Moses V. Nagamootoo Prime Minister & First Vice President Of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on the occasion of the 85th birthday of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Japan – National Day

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I am pleased to be here this evening and to deliver remarks on behalf of the Government and the People of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in observance of the 85th Birth Anniversary of His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Japan – a milestone which pleasantly coincides with Japan’s National Day celebrations.

I wish to convey on behalf of His Excellency, President David Granger, his deepest regrets for being unable to attend this evening’s reception.  I, however, warmly receive your best wishes extended to His Excellency the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana during our meeting earlier today.

The significance of this evening’s reception is not only to celebrate His Imperial Majesty’s birth anniversary but also to acknowledge the Abdication of his position as Emperor of Japan in the coming months.  As His Excellency, Okada just mentioned, the forthcoming imperial changing of the guard from one living Emperor to another, is indeed a historic occasion, having last occurred more than 200 years ago.

It also gives us an opportunity to celebrate the end of a successful tour of duty of your Excellency as Non-Resident Ambassador of Japan to Guyana over the last 3 years.

Over the years, Japan has earned its rightful place as a significant member of the international community, and I wish to applaud and highlight a few of Japan’s substantive contributions which have underscored its influence within the international community.

Excellency, Guyana believes that Japan’s firm stance on the fight against Climate Change has been one of your nation’s most relevant and impactful endeavours since your accession to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  The issue of Climate Change presents an ideal opportunity for the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Japan to promote their common interest in urging the international community to adopt a sustainable approach to managing the earth’s resources in an effort to mitigate the negative impacts.

The Government of Guyana is extremely mindful of Japan’s Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Initiative which is primarily aimed at strengthening the capacity of eight CARICOM countries, including Guyana, in the areas of mitigation and adaptation technologies.  Guyana welcomes this initiative, which is not only in consonance with our commitment to the establishment of a “Green State”, but is also fully compatible with our commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Guyana, therefore, looks forward to advancing cooperation with Japan in this as well as other fields and wishes to once again express gratitude to the Government of Japan for its contribution to Guyana’s Green Agenda through support facilitated under the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership Project (J-CCCP).

Additionally, this occasion gives us the opportunity to reflect on Japan’s advocacy and strides at the level of the United Nations and other fora for disarmament, and for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Significantly, Japan’s sustained and consistent advocacy for a nuclear-free world has resonated well and found robust support from countries like Guyana which has held principled position on the non-acquisition of and use of nuclear capability.

Guyana’s commitment to this principle was reaffirmed after we signed and ratified the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on September 20, 2017.

Excellency, there are many more instances where Japan has made significant and admirable strides that have impacted international affairs, including in the areas of Human Rights, Information Communication Technology (ICT), and successfully lobbying for and winning the bid  to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games

On the bilateral front, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Guyana and Japan almost 51 years ago on June 11, 1969, our two countries have shared and maintained a mutually beneficial relationship.  Areas of cooperation include people to people exchanges for capacity building; collaboration in Disaster Management and combatting climate change; and assistance to Guyana in the areas of renewable energy and improvement of our power system, and in grassroots skills training, and even a multi-purpose and a medical Centre in two interior locations.

With the emergence of Guyana’s oil and gas sector and the anticipated economic and social development that awaits Guyana, my Government looks forward to further advancing cooperation between our two states, particularly with regard to receiving Japan’s support to craft Guyana’s “Oil & Gas Master Plan for Guyana”.

As you are aware, your Ministry of Economic, Trade & Industry (METI) has selected by tender the proposal by the Chiyoda Corporation to commence this undertaking which falls under the Government of Japan’s cooperation programme to assist Caribbean countries.  Accordingly, the Government of Guyana remains very appreciative of the Government of Japan in its efforts to advance our countries’ relations.

Guyana is pleased to be numbered among the recipients of assistance from Japan in the form of general grant aid, small scale grant aid, and training programmes under the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).  Guyana has also benefitted from the presence of senior Japanese Volunteers in the areas of fisheries, architecture, forestry, telecommunications, health and medical care, among others.    These bilateral assistance measures have collectively contributed significantly to Guyana’s economic and social development.

Excellency, in concluding I wish to reaffirm Guyana’s commitment to continuing the robust friendship which exists between Guyana and Japan.  I am certain that our cordial ties, which are grounded in our shared values and mutual interest in fostering good governance and increasing economic growth, will prevail in the years to come.

Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in proposing a toast to the good health and strength of His Majesty Tsugu Akihito, the Emperor, the Government and People of Japan, and to the strengthening of Guyana/Japan relations.

I thank you.

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