Fiji, Japan ties strengthen

Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate shares a moment with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) president Dr Shinichi Kitaoka and Japanese ambassador Masahiro Omura at Tamavua on Friday night. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate shares a moment with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) president Dr Shinichi Kitaoka and Japanese ambassador Masahiro Omura at Tamavua on Friday night. Picture: JONA KONATACI

FIJI and Japan’s bilateral relations have been strengthened over the years through economic co-operation and exchange of ideas.

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate highlighted this during a reception for the Japan International Cooperation Agency president Dr Shinichi Kitaoka at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Tamavua on Friday.

Mr Usamate said Fiji shared ties with Japan since Independence.

“Our two countries have had mutual co-operation since Fiji became independence, back I believe in 1970, in the establishment of diplomatic relations,” Mr Usamate said.

Japan’s ambassador to Fiji Masahiro Omura said JICA volunteers have contributed to the development of the country.

“JICA has brought in a large number of volunteers and experts to Fiji who have made precious contributions to Fijian society,” Mr Omura said.

JICA president Dr Kitaoka expressed his acknowledgement to Fiji for enhancing the developments they had provided for the country and said they would continue to provide their support.

“JICA is ready to support Fiji’s effort to lead the Pacific through its three schemes namely technical cooperation, grant aid as well as loan aid and working closely with other partners,” said Dr Kitaoka.

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