Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, Ken Okaniwa, has hailed the longstanding bilateral friendship between Kenya and his country and hoped the same would continue, especially in the promotion of Blue-Economy activities and renewable energy.
The Ambassador said Kenya and Japan had a friendship that spans close to 60 years, which he said had enabled his country to assist in building key infrastructural projects among them the Sabaki River in Kilifi County.
“We want to promote a two-way trade and people to people exchange because of this friendship,” Mr. Okaniwa said at the Captain Andy’s ship manufacturing factory in Watamu area of Malindi Sub- County in Kilifi County, Monday.
Captain Andy’s Fishing Supply Company is one of the biggest manufacturers and exporters of deep-sea fishing and transport boats in East Africa and the local agent of Japanese Company YAMAHA Motor Corporation Limited.
The envoy said for Kenya to take advantage of all the resources that she has in the sea, she needs to promote activities in the sea such as fishing and sea transportation among others.
He called on Kenya to support the activities being undertaken by the boat manufacturing Company that he said had employed close to 170 locals and was contributing greatly to the local economy through job creation, Corporate Social Responsibility and tax remittances.
“We are interested in Kenya because we have a 60-year-old friendship and cooperation. We have built Sabaki Bridge and three other bridges in Kilifi and Mombasa and we want to promote a two-way exchange of trade and also people to people exchange because of this friendship.
The Ambassador had earlier toured the Krystaline Salf Manufacturing Company in Gongoni, Magarini Sub- County, where his government funded the installation of solar power facilities which the Company uses to produce salt.
He said the use of solar power generated electricity would help greatly in the fight against Climate Change, as it would reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that affect the Ozone Layer.
“Japan and Kenya have a bi-lateral agreement to generate carbon credits as a result of these carbon-absorption activities and we think that this kind of activity benefits not just the economy and the creation of jobs in Kenya, but also contribute to the fight against Climate Change,” he said.
Mr. Andy Thomas, the Director of Captain Andy’s Fishing Supply Company, said the company had been in Kenya since 1989 when it started by selling fishing equipment and has grown into one of the biggest boat manufacturers in the world.
“We are now making eleven different models of YAMAHA boats in fibre glass and we are fitting them with about 40 different models of YAMAHA engines, so we have a wide variety of options for our customers,” he said.
The Ambassador was accompanied in the tour by Magarini Deputy County Commissioner, John Thiong’o and his Malindi counterpart, Thuo wa Ngugi.
By Emmanuel Masha