On Tuesday, July 30, 2019, Commander of the SVG Coast Guard, Mr. Brenton Cain and Lieutenants Mr. Ralphie Ragguette and Mr. Enos Hamlette welcomed their counterparts from the Japan Coast Guard namely- Commander Yasuhiro Okamoto and Lieutenant Commander Akihiro Okoshi on an exchange of information visit and regional tour of the Caribbean.

In making brief remarks, Commander Cain welcomed Commander Okamoto to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to the SVG Coast Guard Base. According to Commander Cain, the visit seeks to strengthen cooperation and to foster a closer working relationship between the SVG Coast Guard and the Japan Coast Guard. Commander Cain said that he and his staff were pleased not only to familiarize themselves with Coast Guard personnel from Japan but also with aspects of their operational procedures.

Commander Cain further described the visit as a friendly exchange as both agencies learn about each other and formulate ways in which they can work together on matters of mutual interest.

In reciprocating, Commander Okamoto expressed delight with the warm reception that his delegation has received. He hailed the visit as historic as it was the first official visit by a Japanese Coast Guard delegation to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He used the occasion to formally invite Commander Cain and other members of the SVG Coast Guard to attend the second (2nd) Coast Guard Global Summit scheduled to be convened in Tokyo, Japan from 19-22 November, 2019.

Commander Okamoto stated “the meeting was very fruit. I have learnt many things about St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard. I also explained the purpose of the global summit and the Commander has responded positively. So we are looking forward very much to meeting him again in November in Tokyo and I hope that our agencies relationship will blossom in the future”

As part of their visit, Commander Okamoto and his delegation were given a tour of the newly commissioned vessel “Captain Hugh Mulzac and they also visited and interacted with the participants of the Coast Guard annual summer programme which is currently being held at the Calliaqua Town Hall. The visiting delegation departed St. Vincent and the Grenadines at 2:00 pm for St. Kitts and Nevis.