Japan officially opened an embassy in Seychelles with the aim of strengthening relations between the two countries in a special ceremony at Eden Bleu on Thursday.
The Seychelles Vice President, Vincent Meriton, who also holds the Foreign Affairs portfolio, said that the opening of the embassy in Victoria marks a new chapter in relations between the two countries.
It “represents our commitment despite our geographical distances to bring closer our frontiers to share a common vision and through friendship to make a difference in this highly polarised and globalised world,” he said. 
Seychelles and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1976 and Meriton said that “over the years, our collaboration has flourished to cover fields such as fisheries, education, tourism, disaster management and maritime security.” 

The Vice President said that the opening of the embassy in Victoria marks a new chapter in relations between Seychelles and Japan. (State House/Facebook) Photo License: CC-BY
“As we celebrate the establishment of the Japanese Embassy in Seychelles, an important milestone on our journey, I would like to reaffirm our commitment to further engage with Japan to explore new avenues for cooperation such as technology transfer, innovation, cultural exchanges and entrepreneurship,” added the Vice President.
On his side, the newly accredited Japanese ambassador, Ryoichi Horie, said that it was his great pleasure to be part of this historic moment.
“The opening of the Japanese embassy is a milestone in our relations. This is another opportunity to promote trade and business between the two countries,” he said. 
Horie said that Japan has actively been engaged with Seychelles to combat piracy, maritime crime and has even provided facilities to the fishery industry, and will continue to do so with the opening of this new embassy.

The Japanese ambassador said this is another opportunity to promote trade and business. (State House/Facebook) Photo License: CC-BY
The newly accredited ambassador added that he admires Seychelles for its conservation effort and other countries including Japan should learn from what the island nation has achieved. 
Throughout the years, Japan has financially assisted Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, through grants.
The latest Japanese grant of $7 million was signed last month.
The grant will fund projects aimed at improving maritime security. These include the reconstruction of the Anti-Narcotics Bureau headquarters at Perseverance, a man-made island, specialised equipment and high-speed patrol boats for the maritime police unit and a facility for the storage of marine vessels confiscated as exhibits during operations also falls under the grant.
In thanking the Japanese government, Meriton said that Japan “remains a steadfast partner in the implementation of our Blue Economy Strategy which brings together all sectors in the sustainable use of our ocean resources.”
He also applauded continuous support on the international scene given by Japan to Seychelles on matters critical to the survival of Small Island Developing States such as climate change and environmental degradation.
The Japanese embassy is located on the 5th floor of the Maison Esplanade on Francis Rachel Street in the capital Victoria.
The Head of Mission at the embassy is Makoto Tominaga. 
Source: Seychelles News Agency