13th December 05:06 AM
Fiji and Japan's bilateral relationship grows due to ongoing initiatives between the 2 nations - Seruiratu
By Priteshni Nand
Friday 15/11/2019
Minister for Defence and National Security, Inia Seruiratu [Photo:Fijian Government]

Minister for Defence and National Security, Inia Seruiratu says Fiji and Japan's bilateral relationship continues to grow due to extensive collaborations, ongoing initiatives, and exchange of bilateral visits between the two nations.

While officiating at the 35th anniversary of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Operations in Fiji at Holiday Inn, Seruiratu says Japan's support towards Fiji is evident by the JICA Loan AID, technical cooperation and volunteer programs in areas such as infrastructure development, maritime, fisheries, climate change, education and health services they continue to provide.

He says Japan has also been instrumental in advancing the security and territorial waters through the Economic Social Development Programme Grant Aid with assistance through Fiji Police Force.

The Minister says Fiji will continue to cooperate with Japan on post-cyclone Winston rehabilitation and recovery efforts through the “Adopt a school” program.

Seruiratu thanked the Japanese government for the assistance they provided in rebuilding schools that were destroyed by TC Winston.

Meanwhile, the JICA Fiji Office Resident Representative, Yukari Ono says Japan is proud of the achievements, results, and impacts of the cooperation and collaboration with the people and the government of Fiji over the years.

Ono says she still remembers the day when JICA first began its operation in Fiji with only 2 Japanese and two national staff and now has 22 staff members.

The Japan Official Development Assistance Taskforce which comprises of the Embassy of Japan, JICA Fiji Office and Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation of Japan also organised a tour titled “Japan Development Tour 2019” to celebrate 35 years of JICA's presence in Fiji.

Some of Japan's project sites the tour team visited were Suva City Council, Samabula Compost Centre, USP Japan ICT Centre, Fiji Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Services and FBC Medium Wave Radio Transmission in Nakasi.

Japan International Cooperation Agency Operations began its operation in Fiji on the 1st of August 1984.

The anniversary celebration was also attended by the Minister for Infrastructure, Jone Usamate, Land Transport Authority CEO, Samuel Simpson, the staff of JICA and Fijian Government officials.

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