Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Embassy: No decision yet on visit by Japanese PM

 AN announcement yesterday by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar that her Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, is set to visit Trinidad, has been denied by the Embassy of Japan.

Persad-Bissessar was at the time speaking at the inaugural International Women’s Day Symposium, held by the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trini­dad and Tobago (Costaatt), at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain.

Persad-Bissessar’s announcement on another high-level state visit was met with a brief response from the Japanese Embassy, which stated in a media release yesterday evening: “No decision has been taken regarding the visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan.”

The release had been titled, “A possible visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan”.

Persad-Bissessar had said this country is no longer a speck on the map in a expanding global space, given a series of visits by top-tier statesmen, which last year included US Vice President Joe Biden and Chinese president Xi Jinping.

“In a few months, we are working with the Japanese. The Prime Minister of Japan will be on a state visit to Trinidad and Tobago. Let’s celebrate that, too, please,” Persad-Bissessar said.

The statement from the Embassy of Japan came shortly afterward; and, contacted for further comment, first secretary—public relations at the Embassy Shoichi Ueda told TV6:

“Nothing has been decided. The Prime Minister is travelling around the world to a few countries. We are hoping that during his visit to Latin America, we could arrange and visit to Trinidad and Tobago.”