Gerard Cools-Lartigue has been appointed Honorary Consul-General of Japan in Dominica.

This announcement was made by the Ambassador of Japan to the Commonwealth of Dominica His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada at a reception held at the Fort Young Hotel on June 27.

His Excellency Okada said: "This reception is the culmination of efforts which began with the Government of Japan's commitment to deepen bilateral relations during Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year 2014."

He stated that Cools-Lartigue has made valuable contributions in the private and public sectors and in communities.

Okada noted that Cools-Lartigue experience supports his credentials as Japan's new Honorary Consul-General.

"I sincerely hope that our cooperation and partnership will continue to deepen; especially, with the introduction of an Honorary Consul-General to support these efforts. I also look forward to a time when cultural exchange and tourism will feature much more prominently in our relations," said His Excellency Okada.

Honorary Consul-General Gerard Cools-Lartigue said: "It is indeed an honour that I was selected by you sir, to be the Honorary Consul-General of Japan…I will do my utmost to ensure that whatever is called upon to do is successfully completed."

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs and CARICOM Affairs Francine Baron said since the appointment of the new Japanese ambassador His Excellency Okada, he has been working tirelessly to assist Dominica particularly after the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.

Baron said: "Ambassador Okada was one of the first diplomats to visit Dominica after Tropical Storm Erika to make a presentation of much needed emergency response items, including 24 water tanks, 24 water purifiers and 25 generators to the Government of Dominica."

She added that Japan was one of the countries represented at the donor's conference hosted by the government and pledged to provide continued support to Dominica.

She said the plan of official assistance to Dominica consists of technical cooperation through JICA and grants in the areas of infrastructure and capacity building.

"Dominica and Japan also continue to collaborate and support each other in several international forums," said Baron.

Baron said projects funded by the Japanese Government include the construction of a dormitory for the Dominica Association for Persons with Disabilities, renovation of the cafeteria and the retaining wall at the Christian Union Primary School and renovation of the Dominica Community High School.