Meeting with Abashiri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

While in Abashiri, HE Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga also had the opportunity to convene a meeting with Mr. Joji Kitamura, Vice-Chairman of the Abashiri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and his team, together with the Abashiri Tourism Association (ATA). Common sectors, including Agriculture, Fisheries, and Tourism, along with Training programs and Exchanges that can be undertaken for our youths and farmers, were discussed at length.

(middle, l-r) Ambassador Mataitoga with Vice-Chairman Kitamura, together with Abashiri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and Abashiri Tourism Association officials

Making it easier to do business in Abashiri, the ACCI is said to have one thousand (1,000) members, who are mostly SMEs related owners and are driven in providing quality information, professional services and support for businesses in Abashiri.

The Ambassador explained of the Fiji Tax and Customs Incentives for Investment and further reassured everyone that the Embassy would submit the incentives copies and provide more detailed information on how we can further cooperate on this. Now with the resumption of direct flights, the need to increase trade, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges were also discussed at large. Also, the brief on the business opportunities in Fiji, and those that can and should be taken into account when defining and implementing projects or investments whose funds are readily available through the GoJ initiatives, for instance, PALM8 – Iwaki Declaration and so forth were also noted.

Fiji’s interest in attracting tourists from Abashiri was noted, particularly given the resumption of Nadi-Narita direct flights from 3 July 2018, Fiji needs the regional connections to be made in such a way that will allow an increasing number of visitors from Japan. Ambassador Mataitoga further stressed the required Tourism PR of Fiji`s delicious food, culture, tourist spots, etc. He also advised of MANA Island Resort & Spa in Fiji, a Japanese owned resort, and emphasize how valuable, such investment and attractive Honeymoon or even Second Honeymoon packages that they create would be in assisting Fiji’s tourism sector move to new heights.

Vice-Chairman Kitamura shared the same sentiments, and further reiterated the need to obtain more Fiji information in Abashiri and even throughout Hokkaido, for such provides tremendous opportunity to market Fiji regarding tradable commodities and tourist destination. Strategies to the various private and public entities to visit Fiji, golf tours, fishing, and even creating packages for them were also discussed. He further expressed how beautiful Fiji is, and how much skill up training exchange cooperation for youths and farmers could be something that would benefit both countries.

In closing, Ambassador Mataitoga thanked Vice Chairman Vice-Chairman Kitamura and his team for receiving the FET delegation and the opportunity to be engaged in a frank discussion on keys areas and issues that are of importance to both parties.  He informed that the FET looks forward to the ACCI and ATA cooperation and assistance as discussed.

ABASHIRI CITY, HOKKAIDO – Ambassador Mataitoga pays a courtesy call on Abashiri City Mayor

WEDNESDAY, 5 JUNE – ABASHIRI CITY, HOKKAIDO – Ambassador Mataitoga pays courtesy call on Abashiri City Mayor

Ambassador Mataitoga with Mayor Mizutani

On Wednesday, 5 June 2019, HE Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga paid a courtesy call on His Worship Yoichi Mizutani, Mayor of Abashiri City in Hokkaido. The call is aimed at encouraging both parties to work cooperatively for the promotion of the 2019RWC and its exchange opportunities. 

Ambassador Mataitoga opened the meeting by relaying his appreciation for the Mayor`s invitation and the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) and Abashiri City`s preparation for the 2019RWC. Abashiri is the first official campsite for the Flying Fijians, and for the last few months through the support of the RWC Secretariat and FRU, have been preparing the required training ground, training facilities, indoor swimming pool, etc. for the Fiji Team. Also, the City, together with its line sports agencies, have been working hard in preparing the citizens of Abashiri in welcoming the Fiji Team this year, September 2019.

It is noted that the most prominent industries in Abashiri are fishery and agriculture related. Agricultural activities mainly include dairy farming and the cultivation of a variety of crops, whereas Fish processing has grown to be an important secondary industry. Forestry is another important industry in Abashiri and is supported by a rich supply of natural resources, together with Tourism for its beauty of the lakes, the landscape, and the Sea of Okhotsk, with the drift ice it carries to shore each winter (mostly in February), are all very attractive sites which the Ambassador later visited.

Speaking further, Ambassador Mataitoga pointed out that Fiji is interested in a more long-term exchange opportunity, most especially in the areas of sports, cultural, and educational exchanges. He further seeks the support of Mayor Mizutani in developing community-to-community relations between the people of Abashiri and Fiji, through tourism promotion, study tours for school students from Abashiri to visit Fiji. This, after all, is part of the PALM 8 Iwaki Declaration, and in particular, increasing exposure and people to people exchanges between Japan and Fiji/PICs. Ambassador Mataitoga further cited ongoing fruitful exchanges between Fiji and Saga, Oita, Akita, and Takanezawa machi of Tochigi Prefecture respectively.

Fiji’s interest in attracting tourists from Abashiri was noted, particularly given the resumption of Nadi-Narita direct flights from 3 July 2018, Fiji needs the regional connections to be made in such a way that will allow an increasing number of visitors from Japan. Ambassador Mataitoga further stressed the required Tourism PR of Fiji`s delicious food, culture, tourist spots, etc.

At the Abashiri Drift ice Museum

Both sides agreed on the need to keep track of the impact of climate changes and their effects, particularly on the agriculture, fisheries and tourism industries. Helping rural communities who are dependent on fisheries for their economic livelihood, etc. were also discussed.

Ambassador Mataitoga thanked Mayor Mizutani for the excellent discussion that has transpired and looks forward to having further discussion on a variety of areas.

Following the meeting with Mayor Mizutani, Ambassador Mataitoga visited the Drift Ice Museum, which provided an opportunity to learn about the amazing natural phenomenon drift ice and also see the effects of climate change. It is noted that watch year ice forms near the mouth of the Amur River in Russia and is carried southward by current and wind until it eventually rolls onto the coast of northern Hokkaido. Drift ice varies in its shape due to the effects of wind and tide.

Also, close by is the Abashiri Prison Museum, in which the Ambassador was advised of the history of the prisoners and the role they played in the development of Abashiri. About 800 prisoners from throughout Japan are said to be detained in this prison.

HSBC Womens Sevens Series Kitakyushu

Fijiana 7s Team - HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens Challenge Trophy Winners IMG_3574

Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Oita Mrs. Mami Kawamura together with Fiji Friends in Oita to support and cheer on the Fijiana 7s team that participated at the HSBC Women’s 7s in Kitakyushu from April 20-21.

The Fijiana 7s team won the Challenge trophy after beating Spain by 41 – 12.

Commissioning of Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Akita Prefecture, Serving the Tohoku Region

The Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Tokyo successfully commissioned Mr. Hiroki Miura as Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Akita on Saturday, 1st September 2018. Mr. Miura’s appointment will cover the Tohoku Consular District, which consists of six large prefectures in North-East of Japan.

Commissioning 1

Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan, H.E Mataitoga presenting the Consular Commission to Mr. Miura, formalizing his appointment as Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Akita, while Mrs. Miura looks on.

The ceremony was marked by the official presentation of the Consular Commission – signed by the Hon. Josaia V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs – by Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan, His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga to the newly commissioned Mr. Miura.

The commissioning ceremony was held at the ALVE Akita before 250 guests that included the Honorable Members of the Diet, Governor of Akita Prefecture, Mayor of Akita City, Councilors of respective towns and cities in Akita and the Tohoku region. Attending the occasion were also members of the business community, representatives of NGOs as well as academia. Also witnessing the event were the members of the Nasinu Secondary School Under 15 Rugby Team, which is currently in Akita for a week of rugby and cultural exchanges with the Akita City and schools.

In congratulating Mr. Miura on behalf of the Government of Fiji, Ambassador Mataitoga expressed profound gratitude for his willingness to assist Fiji in building and strengthening the Fiji-Japan relationship in the Tohoku region. H.E Mataitoga also underscored Fiji’s long-standing emphasis and work in establishing and maintaining friendly relations with partners who have demonstrated genuine goodwill towards Fiji. And the growing bond between Fiji and Akita in recent times necessitated the establishment of this new Honorary Consulate appointment. It is also a reflection of the goodwill enjoyed between Japan and Fiji since 1970 in promoting economic, commercial and people-to-people relations between the two countries.


Commissioning 2

L-R: Mr. Ochida (Chairman Akita Rugby Union), Mr. Motomu HOZUMI (Akita City Mayor), H.E Mr.Norihisa SATAKE (Governor – Akita Prefecture), Mr Hiroki Miura (Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Akita), Mrs.Miura, and H.E Ambassador Mataitoga, after the presentation of the Consular Commission.

With the establishment of the new Honorary Consulate in Akita, Ambassador Mataitoga is confident that this will lay the platform for Fiji to deepen its reach in promoting tourism, trade, and investment in the greater Tohoku region.  The Fiji Embassy in Japan is confident that the presence of the Honorary Consulate will encourage, support and translate business/investment opportunities into tangible benefits for Fiji and Japan.  The office will also be an excellent point of information dissemination about Fiji.



Expression of Interest – Development of Wairabetia Economic Zone

Hon.Dr.Luveni Leads Fiji Delegation to the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum on Global Health

Speaker of Parliament, the Hon.Dr.Jiko Luveni led a high-level delegation from Fiji that visited Japan during the month, to attend the 3rd Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum on Global Health Forum held from 23-25 August, 2017 in Tokyo.  Members of the delegation included the Health Minister, Hon.Rosy Akbar and Member of Parliament, the Hon.Anare Vadei.

Fiji delegation meeting

Fiji’s delegation; Hon.Luveni, HonAkbar and Hon.Vadei among Parliamentarians partcipants at the 2-day Global Health Forum

The Forum on Global Health provides a platform for parliamentarians from 30 countries to exchange ideas in promoting action for achieving health targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (2030 SDGs), particularly through accelerating actions in priority issues like NCDs and healthy ageing.



Fiji Embassy Tokyo

Bilateral Talks – Hon.Speaker Dr.Jiko Luveni Meets with Hon.Tadamori Oshima

The Honorable Dr Jiko Luveni Speaker of the Fijian Parliament  had a meeting with her Japanese counterpart, the Honorable Mr Tadamori Oshima the Speaker of the House of Representative of the Japanese Diet in Tokyo on 23 August 2017.

The Hon.Dr.Luveni was in Tokyo, Japan, leading the Fiji Parliamentary delegation to the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum on Global Health, and also took the opportunity to pay a courtesy  call on her counterpart.

The two leaders exchanged comments covering several issues and the role of Parliamentarians in promoting these issues.



Bilateral Talks – Attorney General Meets Hon.Odagawa

AG & Hon.Odagawa

Hon.Aiayaz Sayed-Khaiyum with Hon.Odawara

Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Economy, the Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum met with Japan’s Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Kiyoshi Odawara.  Fiji’s presidency of COP23 – the ongoing UN climate negotiations – was the focus of talks in Tokyo on 2 May 2017, between the two Ministers.

The AG – who is the Minister responsible for Climate Change – echoed the Prime Minister’s call for Fiji’s development partners to do everything possible to support Fiji’s presidency on behalf of Pacific island nations and other vulnerable nations of the world.

He also expressed Fiji’s desire to see Japan play a significant role in supporting Fiji’s COP 23 Presidency.



Fiji Embassy Tokyo

Rugby Exchange – QVS U18 Rugby Team Welcomed in Saga City


HE Mataitoga and QVS team/officials with their hosts – Saga Prefecture (officials)

The QVS U18 Rugby Team was welcomed at Saga City by Governor Yamaguchi and Mayor Sato, and later hosted by the two Prefectural Officials to a welcome dinner on Monday 24 April 2017. The team was representing Fiji at the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament that was held in Fukuoka, Japan from 28 April to 5 May 2017. This is the second year that a Team from Fiji, and QVS for that matter, have been invited to the tournament.

In January this year the Governor of Saga Prefecture, Japan, Mr Yoshinori YAMAGUCHI and a delegation of senior officials from Saga visited QVS to see first-hand the rehabilitation work at the school after the devastation of TC Winston in February 2016.

The QVS Group was made up of 30 student players and 4 officials, led by school Principal, Mr Seru Banuve.

The Saga Prefectural Government hosted the QVS team for one week prior to the commencement of the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament in Fukuoka, allowing the team to acclimatize, at the same time participate in cultural exchanges with Saga Schools and communities.

The exchange is part of the program that the Fiji Embassy in Japan has been developing with a few Japanese Prefectures, as part of the Sports/Cultural Diplomacy in the lead up to the 2019 WRC in Japan and 2020 Tokyo Olympics.



Fiji Embassy Tokyo