Jamaica's Ambassador-Designate to Japan and JETAA Jamaica Commit to Enhanced Relationship



As Ambassador-Designate to Japan, Ms. Shorna-Kay Richards, prepares for her new assignment,  she met with President Marsha Dennie and other representatives of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme Alumni Association of Jamaica (JETAA Jamaica)  on August 12, 2020 as part of a round of Courtesy Calls she is undertaking before she departs for Japan. The Ambassador-Designate anticipates that her engagement with JETAA Jamaica will be a "robust, fulfilling and exciting" one. 

The virtual meeting afforded Ambassador-Designate Richards the opportunity to outline some of her plans for a "whole of country" approach to her upcoming mission in Japan, in which she envisions forging a much stronger relationship with Jamaicans on the JET Programme in Japan. Acknowledging that Jamaican JETs formed a powerful cadre of persons already serving as unofficial "Cultural Ambassadors" across Japan, she indicates her desire to engage the Jamaicans in a much more expansive role to support a message of "One Jamaica in Japan, raising the level of the relationship". This expanded role that she envisages will span various dimensions of the economic and socio-cultural realms of Jamaica.

Ambassador-Designate Richards’ plans for the Embassy of Jamaica to be very proactive in reaching out and engaging the JETs in what she terms a "seamless, very accessible relationship" were welcomed by the JETAA Jamaica representatives who expressed their confidence that current Jamaican JETs as well as JET Alumni still resident in Japan would welcome the increased engagement with the Embassy, and the opportunity to play a more visible role in promoting Jamaica in their respective communities across Japan. The Alumni also welcomed Ambassador-Designate Richards’ intention to provide content to the JETs so that the messaging they impart in their various corners of Japan is similar, standardized and will help them to present the very best of Jamaica. She explains that the content will be value-added to reflect and create a diversified knowledge of Jamaican culture beyond the Reggae music for which Jamaica is already renowned among the Japanese populace.

Ms. Dennie, in expressing her enthusiasm at the Ambassador-Designate’s plans, said: "we are very excited about your vision, and happy that the Embassy is taking this thrust". The Alumni Association was particularly heartened by Ambassador-Designate Richards’ assurance that the Association should consider the Embassy as an honorary Alumni member on the ground in Japan, helping to receive, guide and support the JETs during their stay there. On that note, the two sides committed to setting up a structured dialogue to facilitate their joint support to the Jamaican JETs who head to Japan each year, as well as to explore other ways in which they could collaborate in their mutual objective of fostering the long-standing relations between Jamaica and Japan.

With 2020 marking the 20th Anniversary of the participation of Jamaicans in the JET Programme, JETAA Jamaica welcomed the vision of Ambassador-Designate Richards of an amplified relationship with the Embassy of Jamaica in Japan and reaffirmed its support, while wishing her much success in her new tenure.

Ms. Dennie was accompanied during the call by Vice-President Janette Fuller and Past Presidents Shawn Aarons and Janet Crick.

The JETAA Jamaica is a not-for-profit association with a mission to assist in enhancing relations between Jamaica and Japan through promoting the Japanese culture within Jamaica, and serving as a support group for former, current and prospective Jamaican JET participants.


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