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.
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.
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.
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.
Fiji Embassy, Tokyo
13 April 2016