Update on FET Consular Services and Other FET Related Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In light of the third state of emergency declared in Tokyo and three other urban prefectures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Fiji Embassy Tokyo has commenced limited appointments for passport, visa, and some other consular issues as well as for other FET related services.

For Consular Services – Appointments are scheduled, and Applicants should contact Second Secretary Mr. Ashneel Shankar on Ashneel.Shankar@fijiembassy.jp  to schedule any of the consular appointments, from 11.00am – 1.00pmMonday to Wednesday only. 

For Other FET Related Services – Appointments are scheduled, and Visitors should contact First Secretary Ms. Kelera Savu on Kelera.Savu@fijiembassy.jp to schedule any of the Other FET Related Services appointments, from 11.00am – 1.00pm, Wednesday to Friday only. 

Due to COVID-19, consular services applicants will experience delays in appointment availability. If applicants have an urgent reason to apply for any consular services, they may request an urgent appointment with SS Shankar. 

The Fiji Embassy Tokyo follows strict practices on wear masks, hand-sanitizer, and social distancing to help protect the health and safety of our staff and the public. Any applicant or visitor with COVID-19 symptoms should reschedule their appointment by contacting the relevant officers directly.

Vinaka vakalevu, Arigato gozaimasu.

Statement from the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr. James Fong, Wednesday, 21 April 2021

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/STATEMENT-PS-FOR-HEALTH-DR-JAMES-FONG-210421

Statement from the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr. James Fong, Tuesday, 20 April 2021

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/STATEMENT-FROM-PS-FOR-HEALTH-DR-JAMES-FONG-200421

Hon. PM Bainimarama’s Statement on COVID-19, Monday, 19 April 2021

https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/PM-BAINIMARAMA-S-STATEMENT-ON-COVID-19

Fiji Welcomes Largest-ever Private sector Investment from Japan

The Fijian Government has entered into an agreement under which a consortium, namely Sevens Pacific Pte Limited, owned by Chugoku Electric Power Company (“CEPCO”) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (“JBIC”) will acquire a 44% shareholding in Energy Fiji Limited (“EFL”).

The investment by CEPCO and JBIC is the culmination of an exhaustive process to identify a highly experienced and credentialed international utility to acquire a shareholding in EFL. It was a critical objective of any transaction that the investor not only offer a financial investment to Fiji, but contribute deep operational expertise and experience in electricity generation and networks.

CEPCO’s exceptional track record as an international, integrated electricity utility made them the ideal candidate for the divestment. With CEPCO and JBIC as strategic shareholders, EFL will have the ability to tap into world-leading operational expertise, project delivery experience, technology and financial capacity to support the company in meeting the growing electricity demands of the nation and its renewable energy targets, while also providing reliable, renewable and affordable electricity to all Fijians.

Fiji is wholly committed to an ambitious net-zero carbon emissions target and plans to transition away from fossil fuels and to utilise exclusively renewable energy sources by 2050. With over 50% of EFL’s electricity already generated by renewable sources of hydro, wind and biomass, Fiji is well placed to achieve its long-term targets. The combined expertise and capital of CEPCO and JBIC is expected to dramatically boost this transition.

Acting Minister for Economy, Mr. Faiyaz Koya also announced his full support for the transaction:

“Energy Fiji Limited has found a reputable partner for change in the Chugoku Electric Power Company as it prepares to spearhead Fiji’s transition to carbon neutrality by 2050. Despite the obvious challenges the COVID pandemic has posed for cross-border agreements, Fiji and Japan have capped 50 years of strong diplomatic ties with the single-largest investment ever made by a Japanese company in Fiji. With Chogoku’s operational capacity and expertise at its disposal, EFL can perform better for the Fijians who rely on their services today while transforming into the driving force behind Fiji’s renewable energy revolution.”

The consortium will acquire 44% of shares in EFL, acquiring 24% from Government and 20% from FNPF. As a result of the share purchase, FNPF will fully divest its shareholding in EFL to the consortium. FNPF’s Acting CEO, Viliame Vodonaivalu, who led the initial investment in EFL, expressed his strong support for the transaction and acknowledged the tireless efforts by all employees at EFL in building an outstanding company.

“The opportunity for FNPF to invest in EFL was unique in both the quality and scale of the business and supported our investment strategy to diversify into more growth assets. EFL is an exceptional operation and undoubtedly one of Fiji’s leading corporations, supported by the dedicated efforts of management and employees.

Today we are happy to announce to our members that the investment was a success, yielding excellent returns for them especially given the prevailing economic environment. This will further solidify our financial performance and return capital for reallocation to other investment opportunities.

Following the divestment, the Fijian Government will continue to remain the major shareholder in EFL, retaining a controlling interest of 51% of the shares in EFL while Fijian account holders with shares in EFL continue to hold 5%. Following the signing of the share sale agreement, a number of additional conditions are required to be met before the financial close.

The Government was advised by ANZ Corporate Advisory and Squire Patton Boggs.

(Source: The Fijian Government Website, 26 March 2021)

Video message – New Year Greetings from HE Mr. Isikeli Mataitoga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Fiji to Japan

The coronavirus pandemic forced the Governor of Tokyo to cancel the “Tokyo Ambassadors Night,” a New Year’s reception which the Tokyo Metropolitan Government holds every year. This year, Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga was honoured to represent the diplomatic corps in Tokyo, and delivered a New Year greetings and words of encouragement to the citizens of Tokyo.

Please click the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU0rHjb-4_Y

TROPICAL CYCLONE YASA RELIEF APPEAL

The Embassy of the Republic of Fiji in Tokyo has set up a Tropical Cyclone Yasa Relief Fund Account, to assist the people of Fiji, who have been badly affected by the most horrific cyclone destruction.

Tropical Cyclone Yasa, a category 5 storm cyclone, brought gusts of wind of up to 345km per hour, causing flooding and landslides. Fiji’s second-largest island Vanua Levu and coastal areas of many islands were impacted by storm surges and flooding during the height of the storm on the 17th December 2020.

In the aftermath of the cyclone and flooding, there has been a loss of lives, many people left homeless, massive destruction of buildings, schools, hospitals, public infrastructure and businesses, villages and some maritime islands were flattened, and livelihoods destroyed. The full cost of the damage suffered by the people of Fiji will not be known for a few weeks as the relief assessment teams are currently working hard with the limited resources they have and with the assistance from donor countries to span the whole of affected Fiji. However, the cost of damage is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. It was the strongest storm in the basin since TC Winston in 2016 and the strongest in the cyclone season 2020-21.

The relief donations will be used to rebuild the lives of the many people across Fiji who suffered the cyclone’s drastic devastation to their homes and livelihood. Notable schools in Bua, Macuata, Cakaudrove in Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Yasawa, and Southern Lau have suffered severe damage to classrooms, teachers’ quarters, textbooks, school resources, etc. These schools are needed to be rebuilt now, forcing many students to find alternative schools to continue their studies as reconstruction work on these schools would take 1 to 2 years to complete. Also, many affected students would be without school stationery and uniforms.

The Bank and the Bank Account details in which you may deposit your financial donation is as follows:

Account Number: 3043244

Account Name: FET NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF APPEAL FUND

Name of Bank: Mizuho Bank (Savings)

Branch Name: Kamiyacho Branch

It is anticipated that most people in Vanua Levu and rural maritime islands will be without homes. More than 3,206 people are still living in evacuation centers. Initial damage assessment, which was completed on 28 December by the Commissioner Northern Division, reveals that 6,000 houses were partially damaged while 1,500 houses were damaged entirely caused by flooding, storm surge, and destructive winds in the wake of TC Yasa. Many houses are needed to be rebuilt and will require emergency shelter (tarpaulins and toolkits) and essential household items assistance (clothing, kitchen sets, solar lamps, blankets), as well as appropriate technical assistance. According to the Ministry of Education Fiji assessment, close to 85 schools in TC Yasa affected areas have sustained damages.

As a result of massive damage to agricultural areas on Yasawa-i-rara, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and Maritime Islands, including Koro, Cicia, Moce, Komo, which is home to many farmers, food security has also been impacted as livestock and farms have been destroyed.

The core expense of the Government’s rehabilitation and reconstruction work is three-pronged which encompass (i) provisions of basic needs (food, shelter, water, accessibility, livelihood, health, and sanitation; (ii) restoration of essential service (roads, ports, jetties, airfields, water electricity, communication, education, continuity of Government machinery); and (iii) economic recovery (infrastructure, utilities, tourism sector, private sector, agriculture, fisheries, and forestry).

Thank you most sincerely for your goodwill and generosity to help.