Jamaica and Japan’s strong diplomatic ties were strengthened further recently with the announcement that a twinning agreement has been signed between Jamaica’s eighth largest parish, Westmoreland and Japan’s Tottori. Details below.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday (October 8), for the twining of the Japanese city of Tottori Prefecture with the parish of Westmoreland.
Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar and Chairman of the Westmoreland Parish Council, Councillor Bertel Moore, and Vice Governor of Tottori Prefecture, Akio Hayashi, were the signatories.
The signing ceremony, which took place at the Westmoreland Parish Church Hall, was witnessed by councillors and other officials of the council.
Addressing the ceremony, Mayor Moore said the signing, which comes on the heels of the recent visit to Jamaica by the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, will, among other things, seek to establish partnerships and levels of cooperation.
He noted that both Westmoreland and Tottori Prefecture share interests in the areas of agriculture, fisheries, culture, sports, education “and I think these are areas in which we can have some serious exchanges.”
Mr. Moore said teachers in the parish could also benefit from educational exchanges.
“There are people, who go to Japan to teach English but…I understand that they (the Japanese) prefer the Jamaican English teachers…so I think it is for us to take good advantage and try and get our people to go to Japan to teach English,” he said.
Mr. Hayashi, in expressing delight at the agreement, said it will support and advance wide ranging exchanges in areas of mutual interest.
“The two regions will support … cooperation in diversifying agricultural management, improving productivity of fisheries, and developing clean energy,” he said, while also pointing to cooperation in culture, sports, youth development, education and the economy.
The city of Tottori Prefecture has a population of 573, 000 with an annual budget of 330 million Yen and its main agricultural productions are cattle, fruits and rice.
Tottori hosted a training camp for Jamaica’s athletes in August, ahead of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing.
Kirk is a proud Jamaican who started Jamaipanese.com in February 2006 and now lives in rural Japan. He enjoys sharing his experiences learning about Japan, personal milestones in life as well as interests such as photography, gaming and travelling.