THE Japanese Government is willing to assist Fiji's efforts towards achieving democracy, says Japan's ambassador to Fiji Eiichi Oshima.
He made the comment during the celebration of the Japanese Emperor's birthday on Thursday.
"Japan welcomes the continuous efforts made by Fiji, and we expect that the process for democracy will take concrete progress towards the general election which is scheduled to be held next year," Mr Oshima said.
"We are pleased by the commitment of the government of Fiji in ensuring the implementation of free and fair election.
"I look forward to the results of the election being widely accepted domestically as well as internationally."
He said the general election and the democratisation of Fiji next year would strengthen economic relations.
"Corresponding with the revival of Japanese economy, the general election and the democratisation of Fiji next year will also motivate Japanese investors, who have been reluctant to invest in Fiji, to start considering on their investment in Fiji seriously."
Mr Oshima said tourism was another sector which both countries could benefit from, but added that this was not enough to attract Japanese tourists.
"I believe that the revival of the direct flights between Japan and Fiji, which disconnected in March 2009, is the most effective way to increase the number of Japanese tourists."