Ambassador Mataitoga hosted to a Welcome Dinner

Following the seminar, Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga was also hosted to a welcome dinner on Wednesday evening. Attendees included the Mayor of Abashiri city, Senior city officials, representatives of the sports association and Abashiri Chamber of Commerce and Industry who all enjoyed the dinner.

Following the Dinner hosted by Abashiri City Mayor

In his remarks, Ambassador Mataitoga thanked the Mayor and his Abashiri colleagues for their tremendous support and assistance in molding together a very successful visit itinerary. He further assured the Mayor of the Fiji Embassy Tokyo`s commitment and support towards a successful visit program and the official camp of our Flying Fijians in Abashiri.

Citizens of Abashiri City in Hokkaido Hears of Fiji [Seminar]

Abashiri City in Hokkaido together with the Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Tokyo held a Fiji Promotion Seminar in Abashiri on Wednesday, 5 June 2019, to provide overview information of Fiji with focus on sports and culture.  Senior city officials, representatives of the sports association, business sector, and interested individuals from throughout Abashiri attended the seminar. About 196 people attended the seminar.

The seminar started with the welcoming remarks from His Worship Mayor Yoichi Mizutani providing an overview of the initial relationship between Fiji and Abashiri, rugby promotion and Abashiri getting ready to host the Flying Fijians Team in September 2019.

His Worship Mayor Yoichi Mizutani giving the welcoming remarks

This was followed by opening remarks from HE Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga further expressing profound gratitude for the Mayor and his team’s willingness to assist Fiji in building and strengthening the Fiji-Japan relationship in Abashiri, Hokkaido.

Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga giving the opening remarks

Ambassador Mataitoga also underscored how rugby today is part of Sports Diplomacy, and how this as a base has also seen Fiji’s genuine connections with other prefectures and cities in Japan. Fiji’s win and being crowned the 2018-2019 World Rugby 7s Champion as an example was also shared. The growing bond between Fiji and Hokkaido in recent times following the establishment of Fiji’s Honorary Consulate in Ebestu, and now with Abashiri as the first official camp site and Sapporo as the official match venue for our team, seals the initial establishment of Fiji-Abashiri exchanges. The need to further promote economic, commercial and people-to-people relations between the two countries was also stressed.

The seminar then heard a detail presentation from First Secretary Kelera Savu on Fiji’s Overview, History of Fiji Rugby and the Fiji Embassy Tokyo Outreach Activities, further expanding Fiji’s footprint throughout Japan. The FET Outreach Activities and Fiji Tourism Promotion 2019 initiatives during the Rugby World Cup (September-October) were also explained to the participants and they were challenged to support the efforts of the FET, now with the resumption of the Nadi-Narita direct flights.

Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Ebetsu, Hokkaido Mr. Chikayuki Shimizu also shared his experience and the role he plays in further supporting the Fiji Embassy Tokyo’s outreach activities and effort in strengthening and deepening Fiji-Japan ties throughout Japan. The Abashiri Board of Education Superintendent Mr. Masaaki Mishima concluded by thanking everyone for the great turnout, and in particular Ambassador Mataitoga for gracing Abashiri City with his presence.

The seminar provided an opportunity for Ambassador Mataitoga to express deep appreciation to all involved in the preparation and arrangement of receiving and hosting the Flying Fijians Team during the RWC2019. The seminar is the first of its kind of the Fiji Embassy efforts to promote Fiji directly to the citizens of Abashiri City, Hokkaido.

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.

Bula Akita Festa in Akita City in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Tokyo

The Fiji Embassy in Tokyo, together with Akita City in Akita Prefecture organized a two-day Bula Akita Festa from 1st to 2nd September 2018. The Akita Festa coincided with the Commissioning of Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Akita, serving the Tohoku region, and marked the visit of the Nasinu Secondary School U15 Rugby Team who were in Akita City from late August 2018, for a week-long Sports/Cultural/Education visit program, fully funded by Akita City.

Fiji Festa1

Fijian Community members promoting Fiji at the Fiji Festa

The Fiji Embassy, together with the assistance of the members of the Fiji community in Tokyo and Akita, and likewise the Nasinu team ran a good and effective campaign and Fiji promotion in Akita throughout the 2-day event.

The promotional activities in Akita, included the following:

  • Fiji Tourism Promotion;
  • Fiji Culture Promotion;
  • Fiji Sports Promotion (Nasinu Secondary School U15 Rugby;
  • Fiji Education Exchange Programmed Promotion (Nasinu Secondary School)
  • Fijian Made Products Inc. Bati & Ratu Rum [Fiji Rum Night] Promotion; and
  • The Commissioning Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Akita, Mr. Hiroki Miura.

Fiji Festa2

Nasinu Team entertaining the guests at the Fiji Festa

These promotional activities and outreach are even more crucial now with the relaunch of the direct Fiji-Japan flights, and the need to generate and ramp-up interest in Fiji from Japan,

During the two-day festa, the Nasinu Sec School U15 Rugby Team who were in Akita City from late August assisted in performing cultural items, and sports exchanges with two-schools in Akita.

Fiji Festa4

Fijian Community and Fiji Friends assisting with the promotion at the Fiji Festa.



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.



“Request for Proposals” from Master Planners – Wairabetia Economic Zone Project

The Wairabetia Economic Zone project, a development undertaking by the Fiji Ministry of Industry, Trade & Tourism (MITT), is currently at its design consultancy phase.

The Project Manager, Houng Lee Kaba Jacob, is now calling for “Fee Proposals” by suitable Master Planners for the “master planning” phase of the project.

The request for proposals (RFP) for the Master Planning scope is provided in the link below;

Wairabetia Economic Zone – Master Planning Consultancy Brief 2018

For further information/clarification, please contact Ms.Pallvi on or on +679-330-5411.

You can also contact the Fiji Embassy in Tokyo.

Thank you



Expression of Interest – Development of Wairabetia Economic Zone