Tatsuo Hirayama, Ambassador-designate of Japan to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Timothy Harris yesterday at his office at Government Headquarters. Harris welcomed Hirayama and congratulated him on his new position. During their meeting, two men discussed the outlook for advancing the relationship between their countries.
“We welcome you to St. Kitts and Nevis, we are delighted that you have received this elevated status from your government and that you are here to make the relationship with St. Kitts and Nevis and Japan one of the best,” Harris said. “We will be relying, of course, on your skills and of course the confidence of your government in you, to put that to work for the mutual benefit of our two countries.”
Harris said the diplomatic relations between St. Kitts and Nevis and Japan date back to 1985. He said they have built on that through cooperation in a number of areas including matters to do with International Whaling Commission (IWC), fishing, and infrastructure. “We look forward to broadening and deepening the cooperation between our two countries to look at some new areas and we hope that your government, an important player internationally, would assist us in advocacy in terms of some of the matters which are of significant importance to us a small island state and to us in the Caribbean.”
Similarly, Hirayama gave his support to ensure that the relationship between both countries continues to grow from strength to strength. “I am convinced that our two countries, for more than 30 years, have established excellent relationship, so my humble task is to further our excellent relations,” he said. “…Our excellent relationship is based on shared common values that include democracy, human rights and rule of law. Particularly for the last 30 years, we have been cooperating in the areas of fisheries and more recently, disaster prevention management and also climate change.”
Hirayama said those areas are serious issues for countries like St. Kitts and Nevis and said that he looks forward to working with the government to better manage them.
This is His Excellency Hirayama’s first official visit to the Federation. Prior to this position, Hirayama served as Consul General to Japan in Perth, Australia.