Charles Jr hopes for stronger Jamaica-Japan partnership
(From right) Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, Jamaica’s Ambassador to Japan, Shorna-Kay Richards and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dermon Spence.

KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, says he is hoping for an even stronger relationship between Jamaica and Japan that will continue to satisfy stakeholders who are a part of the coffee industry in both countries.

The minister was making his opening remarks while he led a delegation on a four-day visit (October 11-14) to Japan where he is attending the 35th staging of the Specialty Coffee Conference and Exhibition 2022. Charles Jr is participating in the Invitation Program organised and sponsored by the Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation, and is joined by Permanent Secretary, Dermon Spence and CEO of the National Fisheries Authority, Dr Gavin Bellamy.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan (SCAJ) on this the 35th staging of your World Specialty Coffee Conference and Exhibition. The rich history of this event and the rich history of the Jamaica/Japan coffee trading relationship, which dates back to the 1950s, makes this a special time for me to be visiting Japan on my first-ever trip to this nation,” Charles Jr said.

He applauded the long-standing relationship between Jamaica and Japan and the impact it has had on the coffee industry.

“The impact of the All Japan Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) and in particular Ueshima Coffee Company (UCC) on the Jamaican coffee industry has not gone unnoticed. In fact, this month makes it 41 years since Japan has formed an Association to have a direct coffee marketing arrangement with our coffee farmers. This association represents a tangible display of how seriously you have taken the Jamaican coffee industry,” the agriculture minister added.

During the visit, Charles Jr will participate in the joint meeting of the Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee and the Jamaica Coffee Exporters’ Association as well as in several high-level meetings to discuss opportunities for the development of Jamaica’s marine fisheries and aquaculture industry and agribusiness, a statement from the Ministry said.

“We wish for a very successful three days of activities and trust that the bonds between our two countries and the respective agencies -- All Japan Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) Jamaica Regulatory Agricultural Commodities (JACRA), Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA) -- will become even stronger as we all strive to satisfy our stakeholders in both countries, our Blue Mountain coffee farmers in Jamaica and Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee consumers in here in Japan,” the minister said.

The delegation is also expected to explore several initiatives for fisheries cooperation between Jamaica and Japan in the areas of aquaculture, mariculture, value-chain development, and capacity building.

During his trip Charles Jr will be meeting with State Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Katsumata Takaaki; Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Masatoshi Akimoto; and Katsura Miyazaki, Senior Vice President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency; in addition to visiting the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Kashiwa Campus, Chiba University; and Katsuyama Gyokyo Fishery Cooperative.

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