Exploring Innovative Practices at the International Symposium on Capacity Building for Sustainable Oceans, Tokyo – July 2016

The Nippon Foundation and Government of Japan, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy hosted an International Symposium on Capacity Building for Sustainable Oceans from 19th July to 20th July 2016, at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Tokyo, Japan. The symposimum was attended to by Heads of Government, science, industry, academia, international organizations and community representatives.

Sustainable Oceans seminar

(L-R) Ambassador Matsutaro (Palau), Ambasasdor Tupou (Tonga), HE Tommy Remmengesau (President of the Republic of Palau) and Ambasasdor Mataitoga at the Welcome Reception

The two-day symposium is in pursuit of the commitment made by The Nippon Foundation at the Rio+20, to open a global dialogue to support many communities and countries to improve ocean health. The Foundation together with the Government of Japan and The Nature Conservancy then created a platform to explore innovative Global ocean building practices on the managing of our oceans and educating and connecting. Profile of practical examples of successful programs at the community level, as well as cross-boundary networks to discover the available opportunities for taking care of our oceans were also noted.

The two-day symposium also explored elements of each practice which are specifically effective at building capacity in relation to issues such as ocean education, fisheries, marine and coastal planning,  climate change adaptation, science for decision making and multi-stakeholder networks. It also provided a special panel discussion on the Future Prospect for Ocean Education in Japan, stressing on the need to create more awareness of the ocean’s essential services and contributions, to which one mentioned of the need to increase applicants for jobs on the sea.

H.E Tommy Remengesau Jr., President, Republic of Palau and H.E. Anote Tong, Former President of the Republic of Kiribati also gave keynote speeches at the Symposium Opening. Ambassador Mataitoga and Second Secretary Kelera Savu attended from the Embassy.

Establishing Ties with Japanese VAT Collection Management Systems Company – BMC International

HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga met with Mr Tetsuo Yamada, the President of BMC International, on Thursday, 7 July 2016, at the Fiji Embassy with the object of discussing newly established business ties with Fiji. The meeting was attended to by the Director of Pacific Islands Center (PIC), Mr Ryuzu Saito and Second Secretary Kelera Savu.

BMC Int.

(L-R) Mr. Yamada, Ambassador Mataitoga & Mr. Sato

BMC gave an update of their new venture with the Government of Fiji through Datec Fiji Limited. BMC International is widely renowned for developing efficient and secure VAT Collection Management Systems (VCMS), assisting Governments and National Tax Agencies with the VAT collections in over 20 countries.

The FET was informed that, BMC in working with FRCA, will install systems in Supermarkets first before expanding to other business entities. The first shipment of VCMS is is expected to be air-freight in mid-August 2016.  The relevant training for implementation is expected to be undertaken from November 2016.

 

Off-Shore Vehicle Inspection Requirement for Used Vehicles from Japan by the Fiji Government

The Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre (JEVIC), on the 15th of June was appointed, by the Fiji Land Transport Authority (LTA), as the official Offshore Vehicle Inspector, tasked with “appraising vehicle conditions and ensuring some set standards in the quality of second-hand vehicles” imported into Fiji from Japan.

The appointment, through competitive international tender, comes following consultations by the relevant authorities and agencies in Fiji.  This was in response to complaints and issues raised by stakeholders with regards to the quality of used vehicles brought into the country.

This appointment means that “beginning from 15th August 2016, no used vehicle imported from Japan will be allowed to enter Fiji, unless inspected and certified by JEVIC prior to shipping.

The inspection in Japan will begin from 15th July 2016.

 

 

For more information see the JEVIC link – http://jevic.com/services/vehicle-maritime-inspections/roadworthiness-fiji/index.html

Fiji LTA Notice – http://jevic.com/assets/Uploads/Fiji_LTA_Jun2016.pdf

 

Fiji Government Tender

 Fiji Government Tender

The Government of Fiji’s Procurement Office under the Ministry of Finance is currently extending its invitation to overseas companies to bid for Government Tenders. This exercise is aimed at attracting vendors with quality products and excellent services that will boost competition within our local market.

For further information and to view current tenders please click http://www.fpo.gov.fj/index.php/tenders/new-tenders

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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The lively Q&A Session with the Ambassador Mataitoga

Fiji Embassy, Tokyo

13 April 2016