Strengthening Fraternal Relations between the Pacific and Oita Prefecture through the Asia-Pacific University Oceania Students Programme

Envoys of the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) on Friday, 10th June, travelled to Beppu City and Oita City in the Kyushu region (South of Japan) for a two day conference organised by the Asia Pacific University (APU) Oceania Students Association as part of the week long Oceania programme. The FET was represented by Counsellor Korovou in her capacity as the Charge’ d’ Affaires.

PICS Oita 1

PICs Envoys in APU

The two-day Conference featured discussions and exchange of views by PIC’s Embassy representatives on the theme of Climate Change, and was also aimed at promoting the the Pacific to the APU and Oita community at large.

PICS Oita 2

Discussions on Climate Change

This was an enriching experience for the audience, majority of whom were APU students and academia. The space allowed the PIC envoys to share information and encounters on Climate Change impacts in the region based on experiences of individual island state. The discussions also spanned issues on women in diplomacy, life of a diplomat, labour migration, and ODA in the context of climate change.

PICS Oita 3

Performance by the APU PICs students

 

Increasing Visibility in Regional Japan – The FET Visits Saga and Fukuoka Prefectures

The FET undertook Prefectural visit to the south of Japan in April (26th to 28th), one of the means of forging close bilateral relations with Japanese counterparts and constituents, especially Regional-Japan.  Ambassadors Mataitoga, accompanied by FS Nadalo, visited the prefectures of Saga and Fukuoka in the Kyushu region, paying courtesy visits on the Governors of the two prefectures as well as the Mayors of Saga City and Munakata City. The FET team also took the opportunity to visit the Queen Victoria School (QVS) U18 rugby team that was representing Fiji at the annual SANIX World Youth Rugby Tournament (April 26th to May 5th) in Fukuoka.

Courtesy Call by the Newly Appointed Director of Pacific Islands Centre (PIC) to the Fiji Embassy

The newly appointed Director of the Pacific Islands Centre, Mr Ryuzo SAITO called on Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga on 21 April 2016. This was a courtesy visit by the new Director following his appointment and he took the opportunity to discuss a few issues.

PIC

Mr Saito and HE Mataitoga

Mr Saito noted that his background was from the private sector of Japan and he had many years in project business developments for many Japanese Companies in overseas countries. He is looking forward to the challenge of working with the Pacific Island Countries through their diplomatic missions in Japan. Mr Saito was keen on getting insights and learning from Ambassador Mataitoga’s experience in undertaking business promotion in Japan for Fiji.

Ambassador Mataitoga welcome Mr Saito to his new appointment and advised him that the Fiji Embassy, Japan will assist him and the PIC during his tenure, as it has done in the past. He encouraged Mr Saito to learn the challenges of small island states and take time to understand the situations of each PIC. The Fiji Embassy, Tokyo is happy to assist him and our network of Honorary Consular Corp in Japan, as he develops his priority activities for the Pacific Island Countries.

FET Advocacy Seminar on Post TC.Winston Relief & Rebuilding, Damage and Needs Assessment – assisted by the SPF of Japan

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation [SPF] together with the Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Japan held an Advocacy Seminar in Tokyo on Tuesday, 12 April 2016, to provide information of the damage assessments post TC Winston and identify the priority areas of the Fiji Government for assistance. Senior Government politicians, government officials, members of the local diplomatic corp, representatives of business sector, representatives of Non-Government Organizations, academia, interested individuals and friends of Fiji in Japan attended the seminar. Over 70 people attended the seminar.

FET-SPF1

 Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga giving the opening remarks

  

The seminar started with the opening remarks from Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga providing an overview of the damaged sustained and potential areas of assistance that Japan may support. This was followed by remarks from the Honorable Mr. Fukushiro Nukaga MP, Chairman of the Japan/Fiji Parliamentary Friendship League on the role they will play in supporting Fiji’s effort rebuild a better Fiji in the aftermath of TC Winston.

FET-SPF2

Hon. Mr Fukushiro Nukaga MP providing some remarks

The seminar then heard a detail presentation from Mrs Julia Korovou [Counsellor] on the government’s efforts during the relief and now into the beginning of the rebuilding stage post TC Winston. The detail damage cost estimates by sectors were provided to participants. The two recent government initiatives on “Help for Home” and “Adopt A School” were also explained to the participants and they were challenged to support the efforts of the Fijian Government in rebuilding a better and more resilient Fiji, having learnt the lessons from TC Winston.

The seminar provided an opportunity for Ambassador Mataitoga to express the Fiji Government’s deep appreciation to all those governments, organization and individuals for their generous assistance thus far. He also noted that Fiji is looking to the Japanese Government for special expertise and funding support during the rebuilding phase based on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

FET-SPF3

Presentation by Counsellor Julia Korovou

The seminar is the second stage of the Fiji Embassy efforts to raise funds for relief and rehabilitation work in Fiji. The first phase involved the opening of a bank account with a local Japanese Bank in early March coinciding with the Ambassador writing to targeted recipients including Mayor of municipalities, Governors of several Prefectural Governments that have close collaboration with Fiji, business leaders and individuals, requesting financial donation towards the Fund Appeal for TC Winston Relief and Rehabilitation.

FET-SPF4

The lively Q&A Session with the Ambassador Mataitoga

Fiji Embassy, Tokyo

13 April 2016

 

FET Participates in the 40th Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society (ALFS) Charity Bazaar, 2016

The Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society (ALFS) comprising of spouses of Ambassadors from Asia-Pacific countries based in Tokyo and the Japanese ladies hosted its annual “Charity Bazaar” at the ANA Inter-Continental Hotel, Tokyo on Wednesday, 6 April 2016. The event was officiated by HIH Princess Hanako Hitachi. With 23 member countries from the Asia Pacific region and a general membership of over 300, the bazaar provided a good opportunity for the public to witness the fruit and efforts of diplomatic and Japanese members of ALFS working together. Proceeds from the charity event are shared amongst participating countries for charitable assistance in their home countries.

ALFS2

Ms Fiji 2016 – Ms Kuniko Kobayashi, Fiji Friend (former JICA volunteer in Fiji) who came all the way from Mie prefecture to assist the Embassy in this event

HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga and Madame Venina Mataitoga greeted HIH Princess Hanako Hitachi at the Fiji Handicraft booth and introduced Her Imperial Highness to the various products offered by our booth. Fiji’s participation included a Fiji Food booth and a separate booth for Handicraft goods. Fiji brand commodities like AQUA Pacific water, Punjas Curry spices, Fiji Raw Cane Sugar, Pure Fiji and Virgin Coconut Oil products generated quite a lot of interest.

ALFS3

HE Mr and Mrs Mataitoga with HC Mami Kawamura and Group from Beppu, Oita

 The yearly occasion remains as a tremendous opportunity to market Fiji in terms of tradable commodities and Fiji as a tourist destination. The Embassy is truly grateful for the assistance from Fiji friends who volunteered to assist at the Fiji booths and all to those that purchased the FET – ALFS Charity Bazaar 2016 Door and Raffle tickets. The four-hour event was enjoyed by everyone who attended.

ALFS1

FET Staff, family and friends of Fiji at the Fiji Booth

 

ALFS4

 

Embassy of the Republic of Fiji, Tokyo

7 April 2016

Japan/Fiji Friendship Parlimentary League Donates Towards PMsS TC Winston Relief and Rehabilitation Appeal

In a solemn ceremony held today Thursday 7 April 2016 at the Japanese Parliamentary Complex in Tokyo, Japan, the Honorable Mr. Fukushiro NUKAGA MP, Chairman of the Japan/Fiji Parliamentary Friendship League handed the financial donation from the Members of the Parliamentary League to Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga. The money which will be initially deposited in the Bank Account opened in Tokyo for the PM’s TC Winston Relief and Rehabilitation Appeal before it will be sent to main account in Fiji, at the end of the appeal period which is 31 May 2016.

JFPFL - donates to PM's TCW Appeal

The Hon Mr. Fukushiro Nukaga MP handing the donation Ambassador Mataitoga on behalf of the members of the Japan/Fiji Parliamentary Friendship League

Ambassador Mataitoga in accepting the generous donation from Honorable Nukaga, expressed the deep appreciation and gratitude of the government and people of Fiji to the Japanese Government and people for their support towards Fiji in the aftermath of the devastation caused by TC Winston in Fiji on 20-21 February 2016. He also underscore the need for further Japanese assistance, in the rebuilding stage post TC Winston, in ensuring a more resilient and safe community is developed. Fiji will bounce back from this experience, more mature, resilient and a safer country as we learn the lessons of TC Winston.
There were three Ministers and 7 other Member of the Japanese Parliament attended the ceremony to personally express their condolences for the loss of life caused by TC Winston and to show their solidarity and empathy towards Fiji and its people at this difficult period in our history.
Fiji Embassy, Tokyo
7 April 2016.