HE Mr Isikeli Mataitoga paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Akita prefecture, Mr Norihisa Satake on the morning of Friday 25th April 2014. The Ambassador`s visit to Akita reinforces Fiji`s commitment to enhance and strengthen relations with the Tohoku region. Enhancement of Sports diplomacy, especially rugby exchanges between Fiji and Akita was discussed at length.
Governor Satake thanked the Ambassador for visiting and for promoting close cooperation ties between Fiji and Akita. The Governor spoke greatly of the Fijian rugby players in Akita Northern Bullets Rugby Football Club and their influence to the people of Akita. Since Japan will be hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Governor offered Akita as a training camp-site for Fiji rugby players to improve their skill-set and build up for the tournament.
Governor Satake also stressed that there are 26-municipalies in Akita and that they will be notified on the Ambassador`s request for sister-city relations. At the meeting, the Ambassador spoke more broadly, noting his response to the reasons of his visit to Akita prefecture, stressing on the Emperor`s advice to visit all the Japanese prefectures, promotion of greater social and cultural exchange opportunities for all people, expansion of Sports diplomacy, encouraging business ties between the Fiji and Akita, and being the first Fijian Ambassador to visit Akita prefecture.
The Ambassador said the visit was an opportunity for him to make a personal connection with the leaders of Akita prefecture, enhancing future ties with Fiji teenagers and young adults through exchanges of rugby and other opportunities. He said Fiji wants to have stronger ties with all of them. The Ambassador was accompanied by Second Secretary Kelera Savu, Fiji`s Honorary Consul General in Sendai, Mr Takayuki Moriya and Executive Assistant, Mr Toshiyuki Yamaguchi.