JAPAN ASPIRE TO STRENGTHEN SOCIOECONOMIC COLLABORATIONS

The strong bilateral relations shared between Fiji and Japan will continue to foster greater opportunities in areas of socioeconomic development and exchanges between the two nations. This has been conveyed during the courtesy call made by H.E. Masahiro Omura, Ambassador of Japan to Fiji to the Minister for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs, Hon. Inia Seruiratu, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Suva, yesterday.

Ambassador Omura congratulated Minister Seruiratu for his appointment as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and he reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to expand the development opportunities for Fiji through increased Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Minister Seruiratu in response thanked Japan for its unwavering commitment and support towards Fiji’s national prosperity, specifically through projects that positively impact the livelihood of the communities in Fiji.

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Notably, the Japanese Government through the grassroots and community development sector has invested over $50 million in grant aid bilateral assistance to Fiji for the coordination of well over 400 community projects since 1990. Japan has also reached out to Fiji through Disaster Recovery Sector and has tremendously assisted in the re-building and rehabilitation of schools damaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

In terms of the upcoming key areas of collaboration, Japan will be hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics Game. Fiji will be participating in both events as such the Fiji’s Embassy in Tokyo is working collaboratively with relevant agencies to incorporate Fiji’s interests through these major global sporting events. In promoting sports diplomacy, Fiji will be seeking Japan’s assistance prior and during the two international events.

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Discussions were also held around the potential export markets of agricultural products from Fiji to Japan, particularly with the advantage of having direct flights from Fiji to Japan.

Minister Seruiratu acknowledged the assistance provided by Japan in the formulation of the Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience. Japan and Fiji have been enjoying friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1970.