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Jeffers: No official response yet from Japanese on Fisheries Complex

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Nevis Agriculture Minister Alexis Jeffers says the Nevis Islands Administration has still not received an official response from the Japanese government on the fisheries complex. Mr. Jeffers, about two weeks ago suggested that foreign affairs minister Patrice Nisbett had received correspondence from the Japanese Ambassador about the project and did convey this to the NIA. The minister said the Japanese government will be visiting Nevis on December 4th when the issue will be discussed. “We are still hopefully regarding that project. Indeed, I haven’t received an official notification yet but I have been advised that we should be meeting with the Japanese somewhere around the 4th of December…hopefully they will be coming with good news because we are still hopeful that we will get this project relocated to Bath Village,” the minister said. 

Minister Jeffers is also irate that what appears to be a copy of the letter from the Japanese Ambassador to Mr. Nisbett dated October 16, 2013 published in the Leeward Times Newspaper of November 15, 2013. “This is an official document that was sent to the minister of foreign affairs in confidentiality…but it found its way into the newspaper and its now been looked at wherever this(newspaper) spans,” Jeffers said adding that he does not believe the Japanese are pleased with this development. 

According to the letter published in the newspaper, the government of Japan that already approved the construction of the fisheries complex in Charlestown is opposed to relocating the project to Bath Village. The CCM led Administration said it believes Bath Village is a more suitable location for the project complex. But according to the letter from the Japanese Ambassador, relocating to Bath Village would necessitate the dispatch of a new survey that would exceed the budget and the timeline for the completion of the project. The deadline for completion is November 16, 2013.

NRP representative Robelto Hector had suggested in a press conference on October 29th that the Japanese were no longer funding the project. However, the letter published in the Leeward Times from the Japanese ambassador did not suggest that Japan would no longer fund the project but that it they were not keen on relocating the construction of the complex to Bath Village. The Ambassador is thus asking Mr. Nisbett who is also the federal minister of agriculture, marine resources and cooperatives to ensure that original project details are followed. 

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