Bula vinaka and a good afternoon my fellow Fijians.

Tropical Cyclone Winston has moved far to the west of our shores and is a lot weaker than it was when it hit Fiji. However, we are still experiencing heavy rain throughout our islands, and should remain on high alert for flooding in low-lying areas.

While the worst of the storm is behind us, Winston has left a terrible trail of destruction in its wake. In response, our relief effort is in full swing. We are spreading out all over the country, identifying areas of need and doing everything in our power to provide our people with relief supplies and assistance as fast as we can.

Our response is coordinated and involves our disaster management officials, the RFMF and the police. And I would like to pay tribute to our friends in the region and around the world, along with our local businesses and ordinary Fijians, who are rallying to our assistance in our hour of need. On behalf of the Fijian people, vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.

We’ve received an enormous amount of interest from Fijians here and abroad, and others who recognize our dire circumstances, wanting to provide assistance. We need to make sure that your donations go to the right people. Therefore, all donations must go through our National Disaster Management Office. From there, we can determine how best to deliver these funds where they are needed most and ensure that they are coordinated at a national level.

All overseas donations will be duty and VAT exempt. Donors simply need to obtain a letter from NDMO. So please, reach out to our National Coordinator to receive all the necessary approvals to avoid undue charges.

The need is great and it is also urgent. Every Government agency is working together to deliver aid where it is needed, speedily and efficiently. We cannot afford bureaucratic obstruction and delay. We also need to avoid duplication in the provision of services. So I ask all of the various non-government organisations, religious bodies and community groups who are involved in this effort to go through the NDMO to ensure we get this assistance to the people who need it most.

Unfortunately the recovery process will take time. Perhaps a long time. Almost no part of our nation has been left unscarred. And many of our rural and maritime areas bore the brunt of Winston’s fury. But we are working around the clock to address the needs of our people and whoever you are in Fiji, wherever you are in Fiji, we are doing our best to reach you.

We realise the desperate position that you are in. We realise how traumatic this is for you and your families. And we ask for your patience and understanding. But as Prime Minister, I also want you to know that we will not rest until we have reached you and given you the helping hand you so badly need and deserve.

We have already made a degree of progress in alleviating this crisis. We’ve identified downed power lines and have begun repairing our fallen towers. Power has been restored to some areas, but in others – including our Western Division – damage to our power network is extensive and repairs will take considerable time.

Our international airlines have resumed service, as well as on major domestic routes. Our tourism industry has weathered this storm and the vast majority of our hotels and tourism services are fully operational. Repairs to our schools are underway, because I believe it is important to get our students back to school as soon as possible.

Medical teams and assessment teams have been deployed throughout our islands to provide emergency health services, identify further needs and begin responding – including in our affected maritime areas. We also have also been distributing food rations wherever Fijians have demonstrated an urgent need for assistance.

The destruction caused by this cyclone has also put many Fijians in a tight spot financially. So the Ministry of Finance has met with the banking industry to develop assistance packages. Banks have given assurances that existing client’s loans can be restructured in light of these events. In addition, the Association of Banks in Fiji this Friday will release a new product that will allow Fijians to take out unsecured loans to repair their homes at interest rates below 5% over a five year term. These loans can be applied for over the next three months and final details will be released this Thursday.

FNPF is also making $1000 available to its members for immediate disaster relief, with an additional $5000 available for home repairs. For those who have experienced even greater damage, the FNPF will also offer greater assistance through the housing allocation fund so that you can rebuild your homes and put this disaster behind you as soon as possible.

In the coming days, I will also make an announcement regarding a specific package to assist those who have lost their homes or whose homes have been damaged and need repairs.

Many of our other sectors still require substantial assessment before we can implement appropriate responses. But right now, the priority is on restoring essential services, and supplying our people with sufficient food, water and shelter.

To keep everyone updated on Government’s recovery efforts, the Minister for National Disaster Management will be giving situation reports twice daily at 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Please listen in because these reports will contain valuable information to get Fiji back on its feet.

My fellow Fijians, I promised you this would be a time of action. It has been and it will be. It is time for Fiji to fight back, a time to stand together as one people and rebuild our beloved country. Over the coming weeks, our resolve and tenacity will be sorely tested. But it is a challenge the Fijian people are more than capable of meeting.

I urge you all to do all you can to assist your fellow Fijians, follow Government’s instructions and put the needs of the less fortunate first during this recovery process. We have suffered a terrible blow and our hearts go out especially to those who have lost family members. But the Fijian spirit is alive and well and together, we will rebuild our great nation.

God bless you all and God bless Fiji. Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.

Source – Fiji Government Media Centre

Bilateral Exchange on Disaster Management

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Hon.Kono Taro MP with Hon.Seruiratu

Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management – Hon. Mr Inia Seruiratu, held bilateral talks with his counterpart, Hon. Kono Taro MP, Minister of State for Disaster Management, at Disaster Management Bureau Building on Friday 29th January.  The meeting was an opportunity for the Hon. Seruiratu to update the Japanese government on the disaster management initiatives being pursued by the Fiji government, as well as put forward request for assistance to build capacity in the area of disaster management.

The Hon. Minister Seruiratu was accompanied to the meeting by Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan, H.E Mataitoga and Fiji Embassy staff, First Secretary Mr.Nadalo and and Second Secretary Ms.Savu.

Fiji-Japan Bilateral Exchange on Agriculture

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Hon. Mr. Inia Seruiratu MP with his Japanese counterpart, Hon. Mr. Hiroshi Moriyama MP

Fiji is looking at Japan as a potential partner to help realise our true potential in the agriculture sector, in particular with agro-processing.

Agriculture Minister, Inia Seruiratu, met with the Japanese Minister for Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, Hiroshi Moriyama, on Tuesday 26th January, in Tokyo.

The meeting was to discuss and promote trade and investment cooperation between Fiji and Japan.

“Fiji has huge potential in its agriculture sector in view of agro-processing,” Mr Seruiratu said.

“But for these to materialise will require the assistance of development partners, and Japan is a partner that Fiji looks to for relevant support in this regard.

“In particular, Fiji needs an agro-processing laboratory, food technologists and value-adding technology, and know-how to strengthen its value-adding capacity.

“This is to realise the full potentials of its abundant tropical fruits and vegetables in terms of exports.

“Experts are also required to undertake detail study to help identify and strategise agro-produce for value-adding to export.”

In response, Mr Moriyama said considering similar characteristics of Fiji and Japan’s climate and agro produce, the provision of expertise assistance would prove ideal.

The Hon.Seruiratu was accompanied to the meeting by Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan, H.E Mataitoga and Fiji Embassy staff, Counselor Mrs Korovou and Second Secretary Ms.Savu.

Commissioning of Fiji’s New Honorary Consul – Beppu City, Oita Prefecture

In yet another milestone development, the Fiji Embassy Tokyo, on the eve of 19th of January 2016, successfully commissioned Mrs Mami Kawamura as Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture in the Kyushu region, Japan.

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H.E Mataitoga presenting HC Kawamura with her Consular Commission

The inauguration event was marked by the official handing over of the Consular Commission that was signed by Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, by His Excellency Isikeli Mataitoga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Mrs Mami Kawamura.

Ambassador Mataitoga congratulated Mrs Kawamura on behalf of the Government of Fiji for accepting the appointment, and expressed profound gratitude for her for her integrity and industry.

The opening of the Honorary Consul underscore Fiji’s long standing policy in establishing and maintaining friendly relations with countries that have demonstrated genuine goodwill towards Fiji, using it to widen and deepen Fiji’s diplomatic footprint in an important region of Japan. It is also a reflection of the goodwill enjoyed between Japan and Fiji since 1970 in the promotion of economic, commercial and people-to-people relations between the two countries.

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HE Mataitoga & Mme Mataitoga, HC & Mr Kawamura with distinguished guests

Ambassador Mataitoga stressed on the growth in the number of Fijian students studying in Ritsumeikai Asia Pacific University (APU), to which we now have 14 Fijian students in Beppu alone compared to 1 student four years ago.  This is apart from the 16 Fijian students that are currently pursuing studies in graduate schools and specialized programs throughout Japan, under the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship program.  indeed, a major development in Fiji/Japan relations.

With the establishment of the new Honorary Consul`s Office in Beppu, Ambassador Mataitoga is confident that Fiji stands to gain much more from deepening its tourism, trade, and investment promotion in not only Oita but throughout the Kyushu region.  The presence of the new Consulate office is anticipated to also promote greater public diplomacy in the form of tourism, school and people to people exchanges and further boost economic and trade cooperation between Fiji and the people of Oita.

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Fijian students of the Asia Pacific University (APU) in Beppu City entertaining guests at the commissioning ceremony

The Fiji Consulate office in Oita is expected to serve as an excellent outpost to launch and promote Fiji in the Southern part of Japan.

Fiji now has two Honorary Consuls and an Honorary Consul General in Japan, located in three different Prefectures. Ambassador Mataitoga in keeping with his vision intends to set up similar arrangements in other regions of Japan.

Before the Commissioning Ceremony for the Honorary Consul, Ambassador Mataitoga and diplomatic staff from the Embassy held a Trade & Investment Seminar, in which 51 members of the Oita Chamber of Commerce & Industry was represented. This another major step in promotion Fijian made products in an important and growing region of Japan.


The 200 invited guests enjoying the tuiboto




Fiji Signs MOU with Pampanga State Agricultural University – The Philippines

In a milestone development, the Hon. Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Dr. Honorio M. Soriano Jr, the President of Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU), Magalang, Pampanga, Philippines on 13 January 2016.

The MOU allows Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture to use PSAU expertise in identifying Fijian agricultural products for commercial development and actually assist the private sector in Fiji, to fully develop these for commercial markets in Fiji and overseas.  Training and student exchange programs is also part of the MOU.

The Hon.Seruiratu and the Ministry of Agriculture officials were accompanied by H.E Mataitoga, who is Fiji’s non-resident Ambassador to the Philippines.

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Dr Apaitia Macanawai, Mr Tomasi Tuinabuna, Hon Inia Seruiratu, Ambassador Mataitoga and Dr. Ravi Joshi




Embassy of the Republic of Fiji, Tokyo – Vacancy for Finance Administrative Officer [Accounts]


The incumbent will be responsible to the Ambassador in the management and operation of all physical, manpower and financial resources allocated to the Account Section for the implementation, monitoring, coordination and evaluation of the Embassy`s account. Another function involves conducting the annual Board of Survey, Staff Leave Administration and assisting in interpretation – Japanese to English and vice versa or any other additional duties required by the Ambassador.

Qualification: A relevant Degree in Accounts and Finance Management or equivalent from a recognised institution. The incumbent should have at least 5 years’ service in any organization in Japan. Special Requirements and additional qualification in Interpretation and Human Resource Management would be an added advantage.

Skills: Excellent analytical skills with advanced Excel Spreadsheet including ability to prepare cash flows, Variance analysis, Financial ratios & others and have knowledge of various Accounting Softwares and systems.

Applications for the said post must be addressed to the Ambassador (Attention: Second Secretary, NOA Bld. 14F, 2-3-5 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0041). All applicants must include their Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Original transcripts (with English translation if needed).

Closing date for all applications must arrive by Monday, 10 August 2015. Late applications will not be considered.

Kanku-Tabihaku 2015 Travel Showcase at Kansai International Airport

Fiji Embassy Tokyo for the first time participated in the Kanku-Tabihaku 2015 Travel Showcase held at Kansai Int’l Airport in Osaka on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May 2015.

With the support of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji in Osaka, Mr Hirokazu Ishibashi, Fiji Embassy Tokyo among other over 100 exhibitors such as Tokyo based Embassies, Tourism Offices, airline companies, hoteliers, inbound/outbound domestic/overseas travel agents, took advantage of this excellent opportunity to promote Fiji and Fiji tourism.


Supported by Kurimoto & Co., Ltd., distributor of Island Chill mineral water, Tachibana & Co., Ltd., Adi Chocolate distributor, and Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji, Fiji travel seminar was conducted.  It was well-received by 56 audiences.



Fiji Embassy Participates in the 39th Asia-Pacific Festival & Charity Bazaar 2015

The Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society (ALFS) comprising of spouses of Ambassadors from Asia-Pacific countries based in Tokyo and the Japanese ladies hosted its annual “Charity Bazaar” at the ANA Inter-Continental Hotel, Tokyo on Wednesday, 8 April 2015. The event was officiated by HIH Princess Hanako Hitachi.

With 26 member countries from the Asia Pacific region and a general membership of over 300, the bazaar provided a good opportunity for the public to witness the fruit and efforts of diplomatic and Japanese members of ALFS working together. Proceeds from the charity event are shared amongst participating countries for charitable assistance in their home countries.


HE Mr and Mrs Mataitoga with Miss Fiji, Adi Miriama Drauna

HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga and Madame Venina Mataitoga greeted HIH Princess Hanako Hitachi at the Fiji Handicraft booth and introduced Her Imperial Highness to the various products offered by our booth.


Fiji’s participation included a Fiji Food booth and a separate booth for Handicraft goods. Fiji brand commodities like AQUA Pacific water, Curry spices, FMF Biscuits, Mokosoi and Pure Fiji products generated quite a lot of interest particularly with the Fiji brand that is associated with these products. The yearly occasion remains as a tremendous opportunity to market Fiji in terms of tradable commodities and Fiji as a tourist destination.


The Embassy is truly grateful for the assistance from Fiji friends who volunteered to assist at the Fiji booths. The four hour event was enjoyed by everyone who attended.