New Japanese Ambassador to Fiji Presents Credentials

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning received the credentials of the new Japanese Ambassador to Fiji His Excellency Mr Takuji Hanatani. Ambassador Hanatani was welcomed by the head of state at Government House as he presented his Letters of Credence.

The ambassador, who graduated from Ritsumeikan University under the Faculty of Law, comes in as predecessor, Mr Eiichi Oshima, completed his term this year. Mr Hanatani joined the Japanese Foreign Service in 1979 and has served at Japan’s diplomatic establishments including positions such as Minister in Embassy of Japan in Kenya, Minister in Embassy of Japan in Belgium and Consul-General of Japan in Atlanta, the Unites States.

He is also accredited to Vanuatu during this term.

New Japanese Ambassador to Fiji HE Mr Takuji Hanatani with HE President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

HE Isikeli Mataitoga Meets Mr Hiroki Miura, Chairman of Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

Later in the afternoon of Friday 25th April 2014, HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga called on the Chairman of Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Hiroki Miura. Mr Miura is also the President of Akita–Northern Bullets Rugby Football Club, a semi-professional outfit playing in the Japanese Top East League. The Ambassador also mentioned of Governor Satake`s offer and it was agreed that the Embassy will write to the President of Japan Rugby Football union (JRFU), Mr Yoshiro Mori, recommending Akita as a training camp-site for Fiji rugby players to improve their skill-set and build up for the Rugby World Cup tournament in 2019.

The President of Akita–Northern Bullets Rugby Football Club, Mr Hiroki Miura thanked the Ambassador for visiting and for promoting close cooperation ties between Akita and Fiji. He confirmed his full support and assistance on the issues raised, and will also follow-up with JRFU President, Mr Yoshiro Mori. During the encounter the Ambassador also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Fijian rugby players in Akita, especially Mr Setareki Tawake, who signed on for the Northern Bullets as a coach and player, however his role is not only limited to the rugby field. Mr Tawake is also the Rugby Ambassador for the city of Akita and does promotions for the city when it comes to rugby. He also visit schools and conduct training for students who are into rugby.

Also attending the meeting were local media personals who later interviewed Ambassador Mataitoga on the reasons and expectations of his visit to Akita prefecture. Further promising communication and exchanges of detailed information were noted. The Ambassador was accompanied by Second Secretary Kelera Savu, Fiji`s Honorary Consul General in Sendai, Mr Takayuki Moriya and Executive Assistant, Mr Toshiyuki Yamaguchi.

At a meeting with Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman, Mr Hiroki Miura

Ambassador Mataitoga with the Akita Northern Bullets – Fijian rugby coach and players

HE Isikeli Mataitoga Meets Mr Motomu Hozumi, Mayor of Akita City

In the afternoon of Friday 25th April 2014, HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga called on the Mayor of Akita City, Mr Motomu Hozumi. The call was convened for greater cooperation between Fiji and Akita, noting on the promotion of greater social and cultural exchange opportunities for all people and greater expansion of Sports diplomacy. The Ambassador said the visit was an opportunity for him to make a personal connection with the leaders of Akita prefecture, enhancing future ties of exchanges between our people. He said Fiji wants to have stronger ties with all of them.

Mayor Hozumi thanked the Ambassador for visiting and for promoting close cooperation ties between Akita and Fiji. He confirmed his full support and assistance on the issues raised by the Ambassador. Further promising communication and exchanges of detailed information were noted. The Ambassador was accompanied by Second Secretary Kelera Savu, Fiji`s Honorary Consul General in Sendai, Mr Takayuki Moriya and Executive Assistant, Mr Toshiyuki Yamaguchi.

Ambassador Mataitoga with Mayor Hozumi

HE Isikeli Mataitoga Meets Mr Norihisa Satake, Governor of Akita Prefecture

HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Akita prefecture, Mr Norihisa Satake on the morning of Friday 25th April 2014. The Ambassador`s visit to Akita reinforces Fiji`s commitment to enhance and strengthen relations with the Tohoku region. Enhancement of Sports diplomacy, especially rugby exchanges between Fiji and Akita was discussed at length.

Governor Satake thanked the Ambassador for visiting and for promoting close cooperation ties between Fiji and Akita. The Governor spoke greatly of the Fijian rugby players in Akita Northern Bullets Rugby Football Club and their influence to the people of Akita. Since Japan will be hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Governor offered Akita as a training camp-site for Fiji rugby players to improve their skill-set and build up for the tournament.

Governor Satake also stressed that there are 26-municipalies in Akita and that they will be notified on the Ambassador`s request for sister-city relations. At the meeting, the Ambassador spoke more broadly, noting his response to the reasons of his visit to Akita prefecture, stressing on the Emperor`s advice to visit all the Japanese prefectures, promotion of greater social and cultural exchange opportunities for all people, expansion of Sports diplomacy, encouraging business ties between the Fiji and Akita, and being the first Fijian Ambassador to visit Akita prefecture.

The Ambassador said the visit was an opportunity for him to make a personal connection with the leaders of Akita prefecture, enhancing future ties with Fiji teenagers and young adults through exchanges of rugby and other opportunities. He said Fiji wants to have stronger ties with all of them. The Ambassador was accompanied by Second Secretary Kelera Savu, Fiji`s Honorary Consul General in Sendai, Mr Takayuki Moriya and Executive Assistant, Mr Toshiyuki Yamaguchi.

Ambassador Mataitoga with Governor Satake

FIJIAN ENVOY CALLS ON HE MR JEJOMAR BINAY VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.