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July 21, 2017

30th Anniversary of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer to Jamaica

The Exchange of Notes for the dispatch of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) was signed in 1987 between the Governments of Jamaica and Japan. From that time to the present a total of four hundred and twelve (412) JOCVs have worked in Jamaica in the broad areas of education, community development, vocational training, agriculture, culture and sports, with the recent additions of disaster management and environmental protection and currently there is a total of 31 JOCVs throughout Jamaica.

In commemoration of this memorable occasion, we hosted anniversary events supported by the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica. On Friday, 21st July, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness,ON,MP warmly welcomed a courtesy call by the JOCVs to Jamaica House. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation and encouragement to the two representatives of JOCVs that met with him personally, there was an exchange of gifts and photographs were taken to mark the occasion.

Later that evening a reception was held at the Japanese Ambassador's Residence which was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson-Smith, other members of the diplomatic core, the JOCVs and their counterparts. In total there were one hundred (100) guests who listened to the presentation on the activities of the JOCVs in Jamaica.

Other activities that were a feature of the reception were a demonstration of "Radio Gymnastics" by the JOCVs which marked Japan's international contribution through sports as the host country of the 2020 Olympic Games. The programme was then concluded memorably by the launch of the "Plastic Bottle Rocket" made from recycled pet-bottles by the JOCVs who are engaged in environmental management and science education in Jamaica.

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