Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Charles Griffith, in discussion with Japan’s Ambassador to Barbados, Kayoko Fukushima, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Yolande Howard, following their courtesy call. (Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment)

The relations between Barbados and Japan will “continue to grow” as the two countries cooperate in many areas, including sports.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith, stated this yesterday, as he met with Japan’s Ambassador, Kayoko Fukushima, at the Ministry, Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael.

Among the disciplines identified for possible collaboration were table tennis and gymnastics, in which Japan has excelled over the years. 

Minister Griffith also expressed an interest in road tennis being introduced to Japan, in the quest to make the indigenous game a global sport.

“It is one of the areas that we’re looking to expand not only in the region, but internationally as well.  So, one of the things that we’re hoping for is that we can have some exhibition games playing in Japan.

“I’m also hoping that the possibility is there for some of our young people to do an exchange programme to Japan; see a different culture and maybe you can have the same where some of your young students can also visit us here,” he suggested.

Ambassador Fukushima agreed with Minister Griffith and spoke about a programme that was implemented prior to COVID-19, where Barbadian youth had visited Japan.

COVID-19 has been a burden, but there is already a good bond between the people of Barbados and the people of Japan….   I understand that those from Nagyung City visited Barbados and also the young people from Barbados visited Nagyung City before COVID-19,” she recalled.

The Ambassador also extended an invitation to Barbados to attend the 2025 World Exhibition, which will be held in Osaka, Japan.  

The two officials also discussed the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme, online learning opportunities for youth, youth unemployment, language courses, sports equipment, and technology.

Also in attendance were Permanent Secretary Yolande Howard; Director of Youth Affairs, Cleviston Hunte; Sports Development Officer, Stephen Rowe; Acting Director of the National Sports Council, Emmerson Bascombe, and First Secretary Embassy of Japan, Sakai Kikuko.

fabian.belgrave@barbados.gov.bb

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