This year is the 41st since Dominica and Japan formalised a diplomatic relationship which has resulted in, among other things, valuable development support for Dominica.
At a ceremony on Wednesday, October 9th, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received several vehicles and heavy equipment for use in disaster response and building climate resilience.
The Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs, Francine Baron, revealed that the Government of Japan has been especially supportive to Dominica’s fisheries sector in the past 41 years of what she described as deep and cordial ties.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Japan signed a $27m agreement that will mean the improved functionality and equipping of fisheries facilities- facilities that the Government of Japan funded.
Minister Baron said, “Over these past years, Dominica/Japan relations have had particular focus on the fisheries sector and its overall operations and management. We have seen the construction of, among other things, the Marigot and Marigot fisheries complexes, both of which suffered extensive damage from Maria.”
She said to the new ambassador, “We are pleased, Ambassador, that your Government has agreed to assist us with the rehabilitation and equipping of these facilities.
Hon Minister for Foreign Affairs, Francine Baron said further that still in fisheries, Japan’s support to Dominica in the industry has led to consequent development in regional industries as well.
She was speaking of fish aggregating devices which are man-made objects used to attract ocean going fish such as marlin, tuna and dolphin fish.
“The Government of Japan has also facilitated the development and expansion of Dominica’s fish aggregating device, or FAD programme,” she began, “The success of Dominica’s FAD Programme is evident in the fact that Dominica has facilitated the introduction of the FAD programme to Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts and Grenada under the Caribbean Fisheries FAD Management Programme.
She also named human resource development as part of Japan’s aid to Dominica. Minister Baron reported that several professionals have been trained in the fields of waste management, fisheries and disaster response and management.
Japan also funds a grassroots project which provides funds to non-government agencies and organisations to carry out small community projects.