On Wednesday 4 February 2015, JRFU Liaison Officer Ms Amy Matsuo visited the Embassy to provide an update on the upcoming Tokyo Sevens 2015. With 7s Rugby chosen as the new official Olympic sport at 2016 Rio de Janeiro, this year’s Tokyo Sevens is promised to be full of excitement and enthusiasm. 16 teams will participate in the Tokyo Sevens 2015, which will be held from Saturday, 4th April to Sunday, 5th April at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium, Tokyo.
The Fiji Team which won the Tokyo Sevens 2014 will be a team to watch and the Fiji Community in Japan are encouraged to turn up in big numbers to render support for the boys.
Ms Matsuo with Tokyo Sevens 2015 flyer
For online tickets: http://www.tokyo7s.jp/tickets/index.html
On Thursday, 29 January 2015, the Fiji Embassy Tokyo conducted a seminar on “Introducing Fijian Made Products” to a group of International Value Exchange Forum (IVEF) members at the Shoko Kaikan building in Tokyo. This seminar focused on food products, which provided an opportunity for the Embassy to introduce four of the leading companies in Fiji namely; Punja & Sons Ltd., Frezco Beverages, Foods Pacific Ltd. and FMF Foods Ltd.
Participants at the seminar included representatives from the government sector, diplomatic, NGOs, food processing companies and traders throughout Japan, who later enjoyed a light reception focused on networking and creating contacts. About 60 participants attended the 4-hour event. Second Secretary Kelera Savu attended on behalf of the Embassy.
Fiji Embassy Tokyo will again participate in the annual Asia-Pacific Festival and Charity Bazaar to be held at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo on Wednesday 8th April 2015.
This is organized by the Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society (ALFS) and the purpose of this event is to raise funds for welfare, education and disaster relief in Asian and Pacific countries.
DATE: Wednesday, 8th April 2015
TIME: 11 am – 3 pm
VENUE: Prominence and Galaxy B1F, ANA InterContinental Tokyo
ADMISSION FEE: ¥2,000 (includes raffle draw)
RAFFLE TICKET: ¥500
HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga called on HE Mr Tom Kijner, Ambassador of the Republic of the Marshall Islands on Thursday 22 January 2015, to discuss issues relating to the upcoming PALM 7. This meeting was held at the request of Fiji, intended to seek the support of the PICs in Japan for the discussion of new issues during the PALM 7 SOM schedule for 4 March 2015 and also at the PALM 7 itself in May 2015. Fiji would like to include the following issues in the PALM 7 Agenda and seek the support of the PICs in that regard:
- Limited market access for goods and services from PICs in to the Japanese market;
- Tourism promotion support for PICs in Japan
Ambassador Mataitoga explained the background of both issues to Ambassador Kijiner and stressed that these issues have been raised by Fiji and other PICs in previous Japan/ PIC consultations, but it does not seem to make it to the PALM for discussion at least. This is raising the concern that PALM is a monologue and not a dialogue process between partners willing to address development issues of relevance to all the relevant parties. Ambassador Kijner agreed that these issues should be included in the upcoming SOM for PALM 7 and he would be advising his capital to support the inclusion of the two issues above. Both Ambassadors’ also agree that the matter should be first discussed during the upcoming SOM PALM7 next month.
HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga with HE Mr Tom Kijner
HE Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga on Monday, 19th January 2015 convened his first meeting for the year with his counterpart at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tokyo, Mr. Yukihiro WADA, Director, Oceania Division.
The Ambassador thanked Mr. Wada for the opportunity to discuss bilateral matters that would enhance and deepen Fiji – Japan relation. He informed that at the commencement of the year he had undertaken bilateral meetings with PICs envoys in Japan to gauge the prospects of their respective countries relations with Fiji and mutual standings underpinning the regional sustainable development. The meeting agenda underscored high level exchanges for political leaders, the PALM 7 agenda, capacity building cooperation in international law enforcement, Fiji/Japan Economic Development Cooperation Seminar in Fiji and cooperation in multinational/regional fora such as in the UN et al. In conclusion Mr. Wada thanked the Ambassador for the insightful exchanges and expressed his wish to continue discussion on some of the bilateral concerns.
Mr. Yukihiro Wada with HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga
On Thursday, 18 December 2014, the Embassy conducted a Fiji Seminar at the Matsue Daiyon Junior High School day event in Tokyo. As part of their international studies, about 170 Year One students attended the seminar, with the purpose of learning about a different culture, tradition, history, people, lifestyle and its relation with Japan. The Embassy made an hour presentation on Fiji’s general information, including history, culture, tradition and Japan-Fiji relations.
TCO Kawabata making a presentation to Matsuse Daiyon Junior High School students
A meeting between HE Ms Tania Tupou, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Tonga to Japan and HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga was held on Friday, 16 January 2015. At the outset Ambassador Mataitoga congratulated Ambassador Tupou for the successful election just held in Tonga and expressed solidarity towards the new Prime Minister and the Government.
The principal issue discussed was the PALM 7 Agenda; specifically how new issues of priority concern to PICs be included in this year’s meeting agenda. The objective was to try to influence the Japanese Government in allowing discussion of new issues, such as limited market access for goods and services from PICs under some quota arrangement and tourism promotion in Japan for PICs. These are issues which are central to the economic development of the PICs. The two envoys also discuss the positive impact PEC Fund has had in PICs and agree to seek their respective capitals support in raising the issues of the renewal of PEC Fund.
HE Ms Tania Tupou with HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga
HE Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga convened a meeting with Mr. Kazuyoshi OGAWA, the Director for Pacific Islands Centre (PIC) Japan and his Deputy Director Mr. Kurosaki on Wednesday, 14th January at FET. The meeting purposed to discuss Japan’s development interventions pertinent to the region’s sustainable development including respective island states’ priorities. The Ambassador underlined that the Pacific region cannot be a unified group simply because of the geopolitics and diversities of the respective island economies. Hence, the pursuit to request Japan to redesign and tailor its ODA projects and modalities to PICs development needs to ensure its maximum impact. He added that this year Fiji intends to strategise a Japan PICs business trade meeting collaboratively with PICs as means to propel PICs business prospects in Japan. The Centre could assist by identifying and producing a list of Japanese companies either as current importers or investors including prospective businessmen as potential participants.
FET wishes to pursue and identify development projects in Fiji desirable for Japanese businesses. Agro-business is an area of high prospects and interest for Japanese entrepreneurs to undertake in Fiji. Some have expressed interest in exploring horticulture imports from Fiji – rose and sochu production from sweet potatoes etc. Sideline meeting in the margins of the PALM 7 for PICs Leaders and Japanese Corporate leaders such as JAPIA, JETRO including business icons to discuss economic cooperation prospects was zealously discussed. The notion to bring in Fijian tourism and business affiliates to Japan to undertake tourism promotion was also noted. The Ambassador thanked Mr. Ogawa and Mr. Kurosaki for the invaluable exchanges.
Ambassador Mataitoga, Counsellor Korovou, Mr. Ogawa and Mr. Kurosaki
A meeting between Ambassador John Fritz and Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga was held on Tuesday 13 January 2015 at the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia. The meeting is the second in a series that Ambassador Mataitoga is undertaking in the month of January to review bilateral relations and discuss how to improve where needed. These series of meeting is also to explain Fiji’s position on issues that need clarification and where support is needed in areas where Fiji is engaging with Japan.
There were three core issues that were discussed between the two Ambassadors which Fiji raised and seeks the support of the Federated States of Micronesia:
- Incorporating market access for goods and services from Pacific Island Countries to Japan on to the agenda of the PALM 7 Meeting;
- Renewal of the Pacific Environment Fund [PEC Fund]; and
- Tourism promotion for PICs in Japan.
Both Ambassador’s agree that the above issues should be discussed during the PALM 7 SOM and for it to be substantially included in the PALM 7 agenda for Leaders. The meeting was useful in sensitizing FSM about some of the issues that Fiji would like to include as part of PALM 7.
HE Mr John Fritz with HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga