St. Kitts and Nevis and Japan signed an exchange of note for a development cooperation project of just under U.S. $2 million at a brief but ceremony on Thursday.
The project, entitled ‘Economic and Social Development Programme and Grant Assistance’is expected to significantly benefit the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, in particular those who are fisherfolk.
“This grant would be used for the purchase of equipment for the development of the fisheries sector in this country,” said His Excellency (H.E.) Tatsuo Hirayama, Ambassador of Japan, noting that “for human kind, the ocean is an absolutely essential part of life for many reasons”.
He added that the ocean is important for sustainable livelihoods.
“For island nations like us, Japan and St. Kitts and Nevis, the ocean is an important source for food security. This is why the priority area of Japan’s development cooperation to St. Kitts and Nevis includes first and foremost the fisheries sector based on our shared fundamental values on the sustainable use of marine resources including fisheries resources,” said the ambassador.
The Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives and Environment, expressed thanks and appreciation to the government and people of Japan, noting that over the years the cooperation has served both countries mutually.
“We are grateful for the unwavering support of the nation’s fisheries development as we cooperate through the basis of science and mutually advantageous national development,” Minister Hamilton said.
Several pieces of equipment, including ice making, fish fillet and mincemeat machines, as well as scales, including a platform scale for weighing fish, an underwater camera, a depth gauge, ropes and buoys will be purchased for use at the Basseterre and Old Road Fisheries Complex, as well as Nevis Fisheries Cooperatives.
“So, it is a significant cooperative effort benefiting the people of St. Kitts and Nevis for which my government thanks you and the government of Japan,” said Minister Hamilton.
St. Kitts and Nevis and Japan established diplomatic relations on Jan.14, 1985.