Dominican diplomatic mission for Japan
ROSEAU, Dominica, August 17, 2006 - Dominica is to appoint an Ambassador to Japan.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Savarin, said the move has become necessary as the government desires to broaden the scope of cooperation with Japan beyond that of fisheries.
"It is therefore our hope that the appointment of a Dominican Ambassador to Japan as well as the establishment of the JICA Alumni will play a critical role in people to people understanding and exchange and also in developing Dominica/Japan development cooperation relations in such areas as energy security, particularly renewable energy development; road infrastructure; sea and river defences; disaster preparedness and mitigation; horticulture, aquaculture and mariculture; tourism development, particularly investment in hotel development with golf, spa and conference facilities; manufacturing and informatics; among other areas of cooperation," Mr Savarin said at the inaugural ceremony of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Alumni Associatioan of Dominica.
The Caribbean state, presently struggling to get out of the clutches of a high national debt with the assistance of the IMF, has received considerable economic aid from Japan in the fisheries sector. Critics say that Japan traded economic assistance for Dominica's voting rights in the International Whaling Commission where the Pacific island state is battling the USA and other countries for the resumption of commercial whaling.
Japan has provided grants for the financing of the Roseau Fisheries Complex and Marigot Fish Landing Facility, training of fishermen and provision of technical assistance in areas such as fish handling and marketing as well as Maintenance and Repair of refrigerators and freezers. The country is presently pursuing the construction of the Portsmouth Fisheries Complex as a compliment to the overall development of the Portsmouth Waterfront in much the same way that the Roseau Fisheries Complex compliments the Roseau Bayfront development.
Under Japan’s Cultural Grant Aid Programme, Dominica has received audio-visual and lighting equipment for the Arawak House of Culture while through its Grassroots Programme, Tokyo has donated a school bus for the Carib territory, two ambulances for the Portsmouth area, furnishing of the Centre Where Adolescents Learn to Love and Serve (CALLS) with computer equipment, basic tools for the improvement of a cosmetology course and an air conditioner. The Dominica Planned Parenthood Association and the New Day Fellowship and Deliverance Ministry were also recipients of a vehicle and computer equipment respectively under the Grassroots Programme of Assistance.
The Japanese Youth Invitational Program has also offered scholarships to Dominica to study in Japan.
The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) also operates a programme where Japanese volunteers work in Dominica assisting various government departments.
Dominican government technocrats have also benefited from training in such areas as road construction, fire prevention techniques, waste management techniques, and tourism development and information technology.