THE Japanese Government has welcomed the promulgation of Fiji's new Constitution saying it is an important step for democracy in Fiji.
A statement issued by Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fumio Kishida said the Japanese Government expected the process for democracy to take concrete progress towards the general elections scheduled to be held in 2014.
"Maintaining close dialogue with the Fiji Government, Japan intends to co-operate on actions for the democratisation of Fiji in a positive manner, by seriously considering the support for the election," Mr Kishida said.
Meanwhile, in his national address during the presidential assent to the Constitution at Government House on Friday, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said stretched international relationships delayed plans to conduct elections early.
"As I said the other day, it has stretched some of our international relationships to the limit. Instead of being willing to listen and understand, some of our oldest friends turned their backs on us," Commodore Bainimarama said.
"They sought to damage us with travel bans, erode our attempts to attract the best people to government jobs and boards, jeopardise our ability to borrow money for our development and even tried to torpedo our contributions to UN peacekeeping."
He said the campaign to sabotage Fiji's national interest filled him at times with disappointment and dismay.
"Because these countries chose to support a form of democracy, governance and justice in Fiji that they would never have accepted themselves. Had they helped us, rather than hindered us, this day might have come sooner."