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Japan considers opening an embassy in Seychelles

Victoria, Seychelles | March 7, 2018, Wednesday @ 09:41 in National » DIPLOMACY | By: Sharon Ernesta | Views: 3591
Japan considers opening an embassy in Seychelles

The Japanese ambassador paid a courtesy call to President Danny Faure last week. (Seychelles Nation) 

Photo license  

(Seychelles News Agency) - Japan is exploring the possibility of opening an embassy in Seychelles as the two island nations seek ways to increase and strengthen their bilateral relationship.

“The embassy will be a great step towards strengthening our cooperation. We have not yet decided when this will happen but I can confirm that we are going to have a Japanese representative here,” said Special Envoy Yoshifumi Okamura.

The visiting representative of the government of Japan and Special Envoy for World Exposition 2025, Yoshifumi Okamura spoke to journalists at State House last week.

The Japanese ambassador paid a courtesy call to President Danny Faure where the main purpose of his visit was discussed. “Japan and Seychelles have many points in common. We spoke about the possibility of Japan opening an embassy in Seychelles,” said Okamura.

The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1976. The Jurisdiction of Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - falls under the Japanese embassy in Kenya.

Okamura invited President Faure to a state visit to Japan during the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) which the country is to host in 2019.

The ambassador added that Faure’s future visit to Japan would be a very important cornerstone to increasing cooperation in sectors such as fisheries, which is among the main pillars of both countries’ economies. Okamura said that Japan is also seeking Seychelles’ support with its bid to host the World Expo 2025.

Three countries are candidates to host World Expo 2025 -- Japan in Osaka, the Russian Federation  in Ekaterinburg and Azerbaijan in Baku. Elections of the host country will take place at the 164th General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions in November 2018.

On his part, the Seychelles' head of state highlighted the longstanding ties of friendship and cooperation that exist between Seychelles.

“Japan has emerged as one of our most active partners over the years. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, close ties of friendship and collaboration have been established and continue to move from strength to strength,” said Faure.

Other areas discussed were geared towards fostering greater bilateral relations between the two island nations and contributing toward socio-economic development. Potential areas discussed include the fisheries sector, capacity building opportunities, tourism, coastal erosion management and renewable energy.

In the past, Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has helped Seychelles with key projects mainly in the field of energy, fisheries and coastal management.

An agreement was signed in Victoria in 2016 between Seychelles former fisheries minister Wallace Cosgrow, the Japanese Ambassador Tatsushi Terada and Keiko Sano, the head of the delegation from JICA for the extension of the Providence fishing port. (Louis Toussaint) Photo License: CC-BY

Two years ago, Japan started to help Seychelles to develop a micro grid deployment plan. The JICA project which was undertaken by Okinawa Enetech was to help Seychelles in the development of renewable energy.

Japan also assisted the islands to develop a comprehensive study of flood management and coastal management for the three main islands of Mahe, La Digue, and Praslin.

Fisheries is the sector which has benefitted the most from Japan. This included the building of several fisheries facilities including ice plants. Its biggest project was the expanding of the fishing port area and constructing fisheries facilities at Providence Port, on the east side of Mahe.

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Tags: Japan International Cooperation Agency, World Expo 2025, Tokyo International Conference on African Development

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