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.

Support for the Fiji Rugby 7s Team – Tokyo Sevens 2015

The Vodafone Fiji 7s Team picked up where they left off after triumphing in Hong Kong last weekend, 28-29 March 2015 and Las Vegas on 13-15 February 2015 by easing past Wales 19-10 and trouncing Hong Kong 35-14 in Pool A at the Prince Chichibu stadium in Tokyo on Saturday, 4 April 2015.


HE Mataitoga with Team Manager, Mr Paula Biu and Medical Coordinator, Mr William Koong

Support for the Fiji Team was strong right from the day of their arrival in Tokyo with the Fiji Embassy keeping a close contact with them to render any assistance that they require. Staff and family members of the Fiji Embassy in Tokyo together with the Fijian community in Japan joined hands to rally their full support and cheer for Coach Ben Ryan and his players on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th April 2015. Despite coming third in the Tokyo 7s Cup final, Fiji remains a distant second on the IRB World Series table.


There was also enormous support from Fiji friends who have been following the HSBC Sevens World Series Fiji team in their recent excursion, with their vocal chants and cheers sending a strong message to the Fiji Team on the field.

As a token of appreciation to our team, the Fiji Embassy in Tokyo hosted the Fiji Sevens Rugby Team and officials to a dinner reception on Sunday 5 April 2015. The function was attended by the Fiji Embassy Staff and families, including Fiji community and Fiji friends. About 80 attended the dinner reception.

HE Mataitoga bid farewell to our sevens gladiators and also thanked everyone who attended the function which was a sign of our support for the Fiji National Team. The team departed Tokyo for Fiji on Monday 6 April 2015.

It was noted that the top four teams in the Sevens World Series automatically secure a place in Rio, where sevens rugby will make its Olympic debut. Tokyo was the seventh leg of the nine-stage circuit, which ends in London next month. South Africa (129 points), Fiji (125) and New Zealand (120) look set to claim the top three spots.


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Fiji’s Undertakings at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan 14-18 March, 2015


MFA & part of Fiji Delegation at Main Hall

Minister Kubuabola and part of Fiji Delegation at Main Hall

The 3RD UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held in Sendai, Japan     from   the 13th-18th March 2015. The Honourable Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Minister for Foreign Affairs led the Fiji Delegation which comprised staff of the Fiji Embassy Tokyo (FET), PRUNOG, and MFA. The other 9 members were represents of Fiji’s municipal institution, academia (USP), Disability community (Fiji Blind Society), Bureau of Statistics, Media, and Women’s group, most of whom attended to their respective Working Sessions as panellists/presenters. The Minister upon his arrival from Morocco delivered Fiji’s Statement on Tuesday, 17 March. The impending disasters of Tropical Cyclone Pam resulted in the cancellation of the attendance of the Minister responsible for National Disaster Management, Hon. Seruiratu and Director NDMO. Diplomats from the Fiji Embassy Tokyo and PRUN Office Geneva attended to the relevant Working Sessions including the three registered Ministerial Roundtables themed International Cooperation in support of a post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR); Governing Disaster Risk: Overcoming Challenges; and Public Investment Strategies for DRR. Negotiation and finalisation of the Sendai Framework Document was a core throughput. Logistics and Protocol services prior and during the Conference were rendered by FET.

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Minister Kubuabola Delivering Fiji’s DRR Statement

Ten years after the Hyogo Framework for Action, disasters continue to undermine efforts to achieve sustainable development. “The Heads of States and Governments, Ministers and delegations at the 3rd WCDRR in recognizing the increasing impact of disasters and their complexity in many parts of the world, declared their determination to enhance efforts to strengthen disaster risk reduction to reduce disaster to losses of lives and assets worldwide. Building on the Hyogo Framework, the present Sendai Framework aims to achieve the following outcomes over the next 15 years (2015-2030):“the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.” States declared that the realisation of this outcome requires strong commitment and involvement of political leadership in every country at all levels in the implementation and follow-up of this framework and in the creation of the necessary conducive and enabling environment. To attain the expected outcome, States consented that the following goal must be pursued: “Prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk through the implementation of integrated and inclusive economic, structural, legal, social, health, cultural, educational, environmental, technological, political and institutional measures that prevent and reduce hazard exposure and vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery, and thus strengthen resilience.” “The pursuance of this goal requires the enhancement of the implementation capacity and capability of developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, small island developing States, landlocked developing countries and African countries, as well as middle-income countries facing specific challenges, including the mobilisation of support through international cooperation for the provision of means of implementation in accordance with their national priorities.”

At the Conference, States also pronounced their respective messages of sympathies and condolences to the people of Vanuatu and neighbouring countries that fell victims of Tropical Cyclone Pam.

Bilateral Meeting between Minister Kubuabola and Minister Kishida

Minister Kubuabola & Minister Kishida March 2015

In closing Minister Kubuabola presented gift to Minister Kishida .

In the margins of the Conference, various meetings and activities were organised which encompassed a bilateral meeting between Minister Kubuabola and his Japanese counterpart, Minister Kishida which was held on Sunday, 15th March 2015. The discussions centered on bilateral concerns and initiatives to lift and deepen the two countries relation and cooperation. A priority issue discussed is the proposed visit of the Fiji’s Prime Minister Hon J.V. Bainimarama to Japan in May 2015 and his meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister the Hon. Mr. Shinzo Abe. Both Ministers agreed that this proposed meeting, would be a major boost in lifting Fiji/Japan relations to higher level than before.  Minister Kishida commented during the meeting the importance of Fiji to Japan in terms of its relations with the Pacific Island Countries and it would like Fiji/Japan relations to be restored to new level. In the context of PALM 7 that Japan will be hosting in May 2015, they see Fiji as one of the leader countries in ensuring its success.

Japan would like to diversify its relation with Fiji to include cooperation in the United Nations and international for a generally. There were several specific requests pertaining to Japan candidature in UN bodies and cooperation in sustainable development of marine areas.

Prospective areas of bilateral cooperation discussed encompassed; market access for Fijian-made products into the Japanese market; joint promotions for Fiji/Japan business exchange and investment opportunities for Japanese Small Medium Enterprises [SME] underscoring agriculture, horticulture and agri-tourism products using Japanese knowhow and technologies. Discussions also centered on public diplomacy in terms of Visa reciprocal arrangement and parliamentary Study Visits.

Bilateral Meeting between Minister Kubuabola and Minister Anthony of New Caledonia

Minister Kubuabola & Minister Anthony

Minister Kubuabola and Minister Anthony of New Caledonia in closing.

A second bilateral meeting was held between Minister Kubuabola and New Caledonia’s Minister in Charge of Sustainable Development, Hon. Lecren Anthony which was requested by the latter. Discussion centred on Oceania 21 Climate Change submission to the COP 21 in Paris. Hon. Anthony stated his intention to collaborate with Fiji in the preparation of this submission and also within the PIDF frame. He thus expressed New Caledonia’s high level representation at the next PIDF Summit in August this year.

Hon. Kubuabola welcomed New Caledonia’s support for the PIDF and informed that the next Summit will be held on 12-14 August in Denarau Nadi. He assured Fiji’s support on the Oceania 21 proposal in terms of the COP 21.

Hon. Anthony shared his experience working with Fiji as regard the One Tree One Life scheme and mentioned that through this scheme he realised that Fiji is involved in networks that New Caledonia cannot access. He further informed that he has held meetings with USA, IMF and UAE in this regard. The Oceania 21 Summit to be held on 28-30th April hosted by New Caledonia was noted and the Hon. Kubuabola expressed Fiji’s possible participation subject to invitation, which thus would provide ideal platform for both countries to collaborate effectively on the Oceania 21 proposal. Hon. Anthony assured of sending an invitation for the Summit and indicative timeline. The Pacific Islands Roundtable briefing for COP 21 organised by SPREP to be held in May 2015 was also informed. Hon. Anthony mentioned that he intends to visit Fiji in April or May to discuss these issues further. Hon. Kubuabola welcomed the initiative and advised that in between time, senior officials of Hon. Anthony’s Office and Fiji’s MFA to constantly collaborate prior to the Minister’s visit to Fiji.

Consultations with Tohoku University, Japan

Minister Kubuabola with Dr. Susumu

Minister Kubuabola with Dr. Susumu

A meeting between Minister Kubuabola and Dr. Susumu Satomi, President of Tohoku University was also convened on Monday, 16th March. The Honourable Ratu Inoke Kubuabola MP held consultations with the President of Tohoku University Dr. Susumu Satomi on Monday, 16 March 2015, to explore establishment of close relations with the Fiji Government and the Fiji National University (FNU). University/University Staff & Students Exchange and Development of Joint Academic and Professional Expertise at Tohoku University which could be followed up by the Embassy were a few to mention.

Dr Susumu expressed his appreciation towards the Minister`s visit and elaborated on the studies undertaken by Fiji nationals currently enrolled in the University. He added that through the Japanese Government and Local government, the University is currently undertaking projects on treatment of disaster waste management, further noting on Mr Savou`s thesis, which is based on recovery  and making energy from waste bagasse. Life Science, Engineering and Environmental Studies were a few fields of studies which the President advised that TU could probably collaborate on with FNU. The Minister in response thanked Dr Susumu and acknowledged the assistance that has been received thus far; advising on the two Fiji national students are currently enrolled at the university under the Japanese Government scholarship.

Minister Kubuabola with Fijian Students of Tohoku University

Minister Kubuabola, Ambassador Mataitoga, HCG Moriya and Fijian Students of Tohoku University

He stressed that Fiji already has close relations with the people of the Tohoku Region. Following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the Tohoku region in 11 March 2011, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama offered to assist families devastated by this disaster by relocating their children to Fiji to study for up to one year as guests of the Fiji Government, under Fiji Government’s Humanitarian Assistance Project for the Tohoku Region – Japan. He further added that Fiji has a very active and vibrant Honorary Consul General’s Office in Sendai and that we are all well connected to the business community here and the Tohoku region.

The meeting concluded with mutual expression of goodwill to each other. It was agreed that relevant parties should coordinate closely with each other to ensure smooth follow up.

Partnering in Disaster Risk Reduction with Tohoku Community, Japan


Ambassador Mataitoga planting Fiji’s Tree at the KIDS NOW TREE PLANTING, Tohoku Japan

 In our continuing effort to support the earthquake and tsunami devastated region of Tohoku, H.E Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga participated at the Kids Now Tree Planting Ceremony organised by the Non-Profit Organisation KIDS NOW Japan on 14th March. Fiji and Kiribati were privileged to be part of this tree planting goodwill which was facilitated by Fiji’s Honorary Consul General for the Tohoku Region, Mr. Takayuki Moriya. The trees are labelled Fiji and Kiribati and would be transferred to the Sendai Central Park at a later stage.

H.E Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga, Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan Held Dialogue with UNESCAP

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Ambassador Mataitoga with the UNESCAP Executives

 On behalf of Minister Seruiratu, Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan, H.E Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga convened an audience with the ESCAP officials consisted of Under Secretary-General Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Dr. Shamika Sirimane and Dr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna on Tuesday, 17th March. Assistance for capacity development in terms of mainstreaming DRR in Fiji’s agricultural plans to allow sustainable agriculture was the gist of discussion inter-alia. Dr. Akhtar stated that it is possible for ESCAP to mobilise funds and resources to hold this capacity building programme in Fiji. Ambassador Mataitoga also mentioned about pulling in some countries in this regard in view of South-South Cooperation which was consented to by Dr. Akhtar. Also, Ambassador asked if ESCAP could sensitize their Office in Suva about this training initiative. The meeting also seized the opportunity to inform the ESCAP officials of the PIDF structure and its objective and noted on the Samoa Pathway.


Minister Kubuabola met with Vice Minister Akiba MP and Sendai Business Men

Minister Kubuabola with VM Hon. Akiba & Sendai Businessmen

Minister Kubuabola with Vice Minister Akiba, FET Staff and Sendai Businessmen.

Hosted by HCG Mr. Moriya and Mrs. Moriya, a meeting over dinner was convened between Minister Kubuabola and Vice Minister Akiba, LDP Member of House of Reps (beside Minister Kubuabola) along with prominent business men of Sendai, some of whom are expressing interest to do business in Fiji. Most of these business moguls will be part of the Business Mission trip to Fiji that HCG Mr. Moriya is organising in July.


Chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization Requested to Assist Japanese SME’s Do Business or Invest in Fiji

HE Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga on Friday 6th March 2015 paid a courtesy call on Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman of the Japan External Trade and Regional Organization (JETRO) at the JETRO Building, Tokyo.

At the outset Ambassador thanked Mr. Ishige for the opportunity to discuss bilateral matters that would enhance and deepen Fiji-Japan trade relation. He informed of the support from the relevant agencies, in particular of the JETRO regional offices that have supported the Embassy in its outreach activities.

The Ambassador informed of the new Japanese Development Cooperation Charter which was approved by the Cabinet last 10th February 2015, further underlining that without such changes, pursuing trade and market access in Japan is a difficult opportunity. This is crucial given that Fiji being a middle income economy did not qualify for grant aid in the past; but receive assistance through regional frameworks.

Another issue raised by Ambassador relates to any role JETRO may play in the organization of a Workshop in Fiji for representatives of Japanese SME’s who may be interested in doing business or investing in Fiji in particular in sectors such agriculture, fisheries, food manufacturing etc, that would be exported to Japan and other markets in the Asia-Pacific region. In this regard, the Fijian Government provides generous support in both taxation and duty free concessions to investors in designated sectors of the Fijian economy.

Mr Ishige added that JETRO will be able to cooperate in the upcoming PALM Summit scheduled in May 2015, in organizing a Business Forum for the PIC Leaders to know Japanese business people and for the Leaders to show what`s going on in the PICs. He further stressed on the international exhibitions such as FOODEX 2015 which is currently taking place at Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Participation application for 2016 is said to be available from September 2015.

Mr Ishige also mentioned of his JETRO Sydney staff who will be meeting CEO Investment Fiji in Fiji, to discuss on trade cooperation. Ambassador further mentioned of his prefectural visits throughout Japan and indicated Fiji’s willingness for deepening its trade and economic exchanges with Japanese companies.

In conclusion, Mr. Ishige thanked Ambassador for the invaluable exchanges that have transpired. The Ambassador was accompanied by SS Kelera Savu.


(l-r) Executive Vice President Mr Daisuke Hiratsuka, HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga and CEO/Chairman Mr Hiroyuki Ishige