AMBASSADOR MATAITOGA PRESENT CREDENTIALS TO HIS EXCELLENCY MR. BENIGNO AQUINO III, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

In a ceremony held at the Malacanang Palace, Manila today, 10 January 2013, Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga presented his credentials as Fiji’s Non Resident Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines to His Excellency Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines. Ambassador Mataitoga was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Venina Mataitoga.

AMBASSADOR ISIKELI MATAITOGA PRESENTING CREDENTIALS TO HE MR BENIGNO AQUINO III PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

AMBASSADOR ISIKELI MATAITOGA PRESENTING CREDENTIALS TO HE MR BENIGNO AQUINO III PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

In presenting his Letters of Credence to HE President Benigno Aquino III, Ambassador Mataitoga thanked the President, the government and the people of the Philippines for their support and goodwill towards Fiji, as it undergoes its current reform and modernization programs. He also expressed the sincere desire of Fiji to deepen its bilateral relations with the Philippines and further enhance mutual cooperation in the United Nations and other international fora.

Ambassador Mataitoga later attended the Vin d’ Honneur hosted by the President for the newly accredited Ambassadors to the Republic of the Philippines. He also held meeting with two business leaders to explore potential areas of trade and investment with Fiji.

Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga Pays Courtesy Call on Sendai Mayor Emiko Okuyama

Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga paid a courtesy call on Sendai Mayor Emiko Okuyama on Tuesday 27 November 2012 and discussed ties to promote Fiji to the people of Sendai City and establish a friendly bilateral relationship with Sendai City underpinned by mutual respect.

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Ambassador Mataitoga with Mayor Emiko Okuyama

In his brief, Ambassador highlighted the Embassy`s initiative of soft diplomacy in exploring and establishing friendly relations with respective prefectures and its municipalities, objectively to promote Fiji as a promising socio-economic destiny to the people of Sendai, as well as to establish deepening people to people relations.

Mayor Okuyama expressed appreciation for Fiji’s assistance following the devastating tsunami that struck Japan recently. Fiji is currently hosting university and secondary school level students from the Tohoku Region that was devastated by the tsunami. The Ambassador`s courtesy visit was a good start and the mayor was confident that Fiji and Sendai City relations will grow from now on.

Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga Pays Courtesy Call on Miyagi Prefecture Governor Yoshihiro Murai

The Embassy of the Republic of Fiji, Tokyo recently visited Miyagi Prefecture as part of its outreach program seeking greater engagement with the wider Japanese society. Ambassador HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga called on Governor Yoshihiro Murai, at the Governor’s Office on Tuesday 27 November 2012 for courtesies and to introduce to the Governor the Fiji Business Seminar schedule to be held on Wednesday 28 November 2012.

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Ambassador Mataitoga with Governor Yoshihiro Murai

The Governor expressed appreciation for Fiji’s assistance following the devastating tsunami that struck Japan recently. Fiji is currently hosting university and secondary school level students from the Tohoku Region that was devastated by the tsunami, in which seven students are from Miyagi prefecture.

The Governor further thanked the Ambassador for visiting Miyagi and for promoting close trade and investment cooperation between Miyagi prefecture and Fiji. This is a good start and he was confident that Fiji and Miyagi Prefecture relations will grow from now on.

New Minister Calls for Cooperation and Partnership

The newest member of Cabinet in Fiji, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forest, Lieutenant-Colonel Inia Batitoko Seruiratu has urged the need for cooperation and partnership to grow the Fijian economy sustainably. The former permanent secretary for Provincial Development and National Disaster Management was today, Friday 16 November 2012 sworn-in as minister by His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in the presence of Prime Minister Josaia Bainimarama at Government House.

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HE President of Fiji congratulates Mr Seruiratu after being sworn in as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forest.

While congratulating Mr Seruiratu, the President told the new Minister that his appointment was well deserved. On his part, the Minister said he looks forward to the opportunity and challenge since his portfolio is very critical to Fiji especially in terms of its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). Mr Seruiratu said Government and the stakeholders need to work in partnership as the State has the expertise and the funds but needs the willingness of the people and their contribution. And that the industry can advance forward, but if there is unwillingness the intentions of Government will not be realised. He urged people in the rural areas and all stakeholders to work in partnership to move the nation forward and grow the economy which “will be good for everybody”.

Mr Seruiratu further elaborated that the country have abundance of resources and agriculture and fisheries is where these resources can be better utilised for the benefit of Fiji particularly in the area of integrated rural development and how this can address the socio-economic issues. First on his agenda is to look at how both the organisations fit into the context of the changing environment.  The ministry has two permanent secretaries as it is considered quite vast but the Minister, who had also served as the Commissioner Northern earlier on, is ready to take up the challenge. Following on his taking up the appointment, he pledged that the important thing to do right now is to look at the strengths and weaknesses, what are the opportunities there and ensure that effective, efficient, relevant and current measures are undertaken in the way things are done and most importantly the alignment to the 11 pillars of the People’s Charter. This is very critical particularly on promoting economic growth and the two ministries play a significant role.

TOKYO SEVENS 2013

The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) has announced its online sales and promotional activities for the TOKYO SEVENS 2013 scheduled to take place from Saturday 30th March till Sunday 31st March 2013. TOKYO SEVENS 2013 is said to have 16-confirmed teams participating in the 2-day HSBC Sponsored series tournament, including Japan.

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Ms Amy Matsuo with the new leaflet for Tokyo Sevens 2013 “Super Early Discount Non-reserved Tickets”

Whilst visiting the Embassy on Wednesday 14 November 2012, JRFU-TOKYO SEVENS 2013 Coordinator, Ms Amy Matsuo said, “JRFU has started its promotional activities online, and that they will be selling “Super Early Discount Non-reserved Tickets” between now and the end of the year”. The approach is part of JRFU’s program to attract many spectators for the event. JRFU is also offering “Enjoy Partner Corporate Packages” to companies that may be interested in purchasing tickets in bulk and having their company logo advertised during the 2-day tournament. The precise detail of the tournament and tickets sales for reserved tickets will be issued early next year, 19th January 2013.

Following HONG KONG SEVENS 2013, TOKYO SEVENS 2013 Fiji Team Members are scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on Monday, 25th March 2013, and are expected to return to Fiji on 2nd April 2013. Further precise details will be advised in our next meeting, early next year.

The Embassy thanked Ms Amy for her time and look forward to further promising communication and exchanges of detailed information.