Holness welcomes increased Japanese assistance

Holness welcomes increased Japanese assistance

Senior staff reporter

Friday, December 13, 2019

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PRIME Minister Andrew Holness says that two maritime patrol vessels which have been donated to Jamaica by the Japanese Government will boost the country's ability to secure its borders.

“This offer, which was finalised today (yesterday) [with the signing and exchange of notes], will significantly enhance Jamaica's security and disaster response capabilities,” Holness told Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a joint press conference in Tokyo, yesterday.

He said that it was yet another demonstration of the generosity of the Japanese Government to Jamaica.

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard currently operates five vessels — two patrol vessels, the HMJS Cornwall (Netherlands) and the HMJS Middlesex (Netherlands); two patrol boats — HMJS Fort Charles (United States) and HMJS Paul Bogle (United States); and the interceptor vessel, Boston Whaler (United States).

The HMJS Cornwall and the HMJS Middlesex were received in 2017, after being ordered from the Dutch Damen Shipyards Group via a contract for two new Stan Patrol 4207 vessels, representing a renewal of the fleet. The new vessels were renamed HMJS Cornwall and HMJS Middlesex after two earlier JDF Coast Guard vessels which were sold to another country.

Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that he also welcomes the additional boats from Japan, as they will strengthen the country's ability to patrol its in-shore and offshore boundaries.

Holness also signed a double taxation convention between Jamaica and Japan to encourage trade and investment between the two countries.

At the briefing, he noted the importance of the discussions with Abe on trade and investment, and their agreement to do more to encourage that relationship already being cemented with the signing of the double taxation agreement.

During their discussion, which took place ahead of the press conference, the two leaders talked about the scope of Jamaica/Japan relations and shared visions to advance engagements for mutual benefit.

“For over five decades Japan has been a major partner and genuine friend to Jamaica. Japan has consistently demonstrated its friendship to Jamaica in numerous ways, including through technical and economic programmes and volunteer missions in diverse areas. We are deeply grateful for these contributions to our national development efforts,” Holness said.

He also credited Japan's strong support for Jamaica and other small-island developing states of the Caribbean region to develop climate-resilient communities, adaptation strategies, and technologies.

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