Fiji’s Non Resident Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines HE Isikeli Mataitoga who is on duty visit to the Philippines, on Monday 18 November 2013 called on HE Mr. Jejomar BINAY, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. The meeting took place at the Coconut Palace, the official residence and office of the Vice President. Ambassador was accompanied by Mr. Jesus Morente Pineda Jr, the newly Commissioned Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji to the Philippines. Ambassador took the opportunity to brief the Vice President on the latest development in the preparation for election in Fiji by September 2014.


HE Mr Jejomar Binay Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines with Ambassador Mataitoga

HE Mr Binay expressed admiration for the work of the Fijian Soldiers who are part of UN Peacekeeping Operation in the Golan Heights, where they are posted with soldiers from the Philippines Armed Forces. The Vice President was keen to see bilateral relations between Fiji and the Philippines grow in scope and that people-to-people exchange would be the priority, to ensure that our respective peoples understand each other better. He reaffirmed the desire of the Philippine Government to finalize the draft Development Cooperation Agreement, which was proposed by Fiji and submitted through Ambassador Virginia H Benavides, Philippine Non Resident Ambassador to Fiji.

Before calling on the Vice President Binay, Ambassador Mataitoga had held meetings with senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Department for National Defence and he also traveled to Laguna Province to meet with Dr Vincent Cruz, the Chancellor of the University of the Philippines, Los Banos and met with Dr Bruce Tolentino, Deputy Director General [Communications and Partnerships] of the International Rice Research Institute [IRRI]. The outcomes of these various meetings and consultations were positive towards their collective desire to share their experience, knowledge and expertise with Fiji Government and its people. There are separate program of bilateral assistance being discussed between Fiji and each of the above departments and agencies in the Philippines, which will contribute significantly towards our specialized manpower training in agriculture, agro-business technology and research.


Former President of the Philippines and Mayor of Manila HE Mr Joseph Estrada with Ambassador Mataitoga at Manila City Hall

Ambassador Mataitoga also called on the former President of the Philippines HE Mr Joseph Estrada, who is now, the Mayor of Metro Manila and apart from paying courtesies, it was useful in discussing city/city cooperation in areas of waste management, greening the city programs etc.


The Honorable Mr Albert Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Honorary Consul Jesus Pineda Jr and Ambassador Mataitoga at the inauguration ceremony.

On 19 November 2013 in a special ceremony hosted by the Honorable Mr Albert F. Del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, the newly appointed Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji Mr Jesus Morente PINEDA Jr, was formally inaugurated, witnessed by Ambassador Mataitoga and close family and business associates of the Honorary Consul. In separate ceremony the same day, Ambassador Mataitoga formally presented to Mr Pineda Jr, his Commission of Appointment as Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji.

HE Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga Pays Courtesy Visits On Fukushima Prefecture Governor, Mr Yuhei Sato

HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga whilst visiting Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture called on Governor Yuhei Sato, at the Governor’s Office on Friday, 4 October 2013 for courtesies.


HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga with Fukushima Prefecture Governor, Mr Yuhei Sato

In his brief, Ambassador highlighted on the purpose of his visit to Fukushima prefecture, and further extended appreciation to the governor for the opportunity provided to promote Fiji`s unique culture and heritage to the people of Fukushima.

He also sought the Governor`s support on developing community level and town/cities sister relations between Fiji and Fukushima. HE further added that Fiji is ready to assist Fukushima in its rehabilitation and service industry, as well as engaging teachers from Fiji under the JET Programme.


Governor Sato thanked Ambassador Mataitoga for visiting and for promoting close bilateral ties and cooperation between the people of his province and Fiji.

The governor further expressed great hope for the Embassy`s reach-out promotion in Fukushima prefecture. He also agreed that Fiji`s beautiful and attractive features should be developed into practical opportunities in trade, investment and tourism between them.

Ambassador Mataitoga thanked Governor Sato for his time and look forward in further deepening exchange ties with Fukushima prefecture. The Ambassador was accompanied by Second Secretary Kelera Wright.

Courtesy Visit by Fiji Government Officials

A normal procedure is that all Fiji Government Officials visiting Tokyo should at least have the courtesy to visit the Fiji Embassy not only to greet the Ambassador and the embassy officials, but also to advise the Head of Government in Japan that they are around and the purpose of their trip or visit. This was revitalized and materialized when the Provincial Administrator Lau, Mr Eliki Masa, Provincial Administrator Tailevu, Mr Pauliasi Nene and Mr Zia Mohammed from the Ministry of Local Government in Fiji presented themselves to His Excellency Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga on Friday, 25 January 2013.

[L-R] Zia Mohammed, Pauliasi Nene, Ambassador Mataitoga, Eliki Masa, Counsellor Korovou and FS Voceaa

[L-R] Zia Mohammed, Pauliasi Nene, Ambassador Mataitoga, Eliki Masa, Counsellor Korovou and FS Voceaa

The three (3) officers are attending a JICA sponsored workshop on “Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning” in Kobe and the duration of their program is from 6 January to 2 March 2013. Upon completion of the workshop, the trio would be able to utilize whatever they have acquired to enhance their skills and ability especially in strategizing action plans to better the standard of their preparation in times of disaster. Ambassador Mataitoga thanked the group for their courteousness in making time to come and visit the Fiji Embassy and wished them well in their short stay in Japan and that they will take full advantage of the course of studies that they are undertaking.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.