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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Japan Support Close Ties with Fiji

Ambassador_Mataitoga_with_Mr_Mikio_Shimoji_Member_House_of_Representative_for_Okinawa_Japanese_Parliament

11th November 2011, Japan: On Friday 11 November 2011, Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga called on Mr Mikio SHIMOJI, Secretary General of the People's New Party (PNP) and a Member of the House of Representatives from the Okinawa Constituency Office in Tokyo. The purpose of the visit was twofold:
 
i) To brief Mr Shimoji, in his capacity as a Member of the House of Representative of Japan on the outcomes of the Ambassador’s visit to Okinawa in September 2011;
ii) To seek the support of Mr Shimoji towards the interest of the businesses in Okinawa in trade and investment opportunities in Fiji, in particular to influence MOFA and JICA for ODA support.
 
In his brief, Ambassador highlighted his meeting with Governor Nakaima, the senior officials of the Okinawa Chamber of Commerce & Industries and the visits to the two sugar mills. From all these meetings there was strong support in Okinawa for relations with Fiji to be deepen and mission to Fiji by Okinawa business people would be a first step to identify sectors of possible trade and investment.

The Trade and Investment Seminar on Opportunities in Fiji, were also discussed and the outcome, from which already a mission from the Okinawa Water Works sector have visited Fiji in October 2011. We are expecting a visit to Fiji by representatives of some companies from Okinawa Agro Sector in February 2012. These companies will be looking at investing in a farm in Fiji, to be their predominant supplier of tropical fruits and vegetables back to their respective wholesale businesses in Okinawa Japan.

 Another purpose of the meeting with Mr Shimoji was to seek his support for projects involving Fiji and Okinawa under the PEC Fund. In this regard special support for ODA funds to be provided to Okinawa businesses that may be bidding for projects in Fiji and for which there are ODA assistance available.

Mr Shimoji thanked Ambassador for visiting and for promoting close trade and investment cooperation between Okinawa and Fiji.

Mr. Shimoji agreed that there are obvious similarities between Okinawa and Fiji and this should be developed into practical opportunities in trade and investment between them. Okinawa which Fiji may consider in furthering its trade ties between Okinawa and Fiji. He also expressed interest for an exploratory visit to Fiji one day.

In exchanges with the Ambassador, Mr Shimoji further proposed that Fiji look into Kumejima Island Deepsea Water factory in Okinawa for Fiji. The technology developed by this company is able draw sea water from about 600 meter level below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. At this depth the water is very cold, between 6 and 8degrees Celsius, providing some of its final products such as salt, mineral water, and liquid for cosmetic products. Mr Shimoji promised to arrange ODA for this project for Fiji.

Mr Shimoji confirmed his support and that of the Okinawa Constituency towards initiative to increase trade and economic cooperation, as well as people to people exchange between Fiji and Okinawa. He also noted that the Pacific Leaders Meeting [PALM 6] which the Japanese Government will be hosting in Okinawa in May 2012, and look forward to Fiji`s participation in the meeting.

Ambassador_Mataitoga_Mr_Shimoji_and_AGROORGA_Co_Ltd_Advisor_Mr_Komesu

Ambassador Mataitoga thanked Mr Shimoji for his time and look forward in further deepening exchange ties with Okinawa.
The representative of AGROORGA Co., Ltd was also in attendance.

(Photo caption:(1)Ambassador with Mr Mikio Shimoji, Member House of Representative for Okinawa, Japanese Parliament (2)Ambassador Mataitoga, Mr. Shimoji and AGROORGA Co., Ltd Advisor, Mr Komesu)

Source:Embassy of the Republic of Fiji, Tokyo