Japan-Fiji Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
August 4, 2019
On August 4, commencing at 4:40 p.m.(local time; 1:40 p.m. JST) for approximately 45 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting with the Hon. Inia Batikoto Seruiratu, Minister for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Fiji, in its capital city of Suva. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the beginning, Minister Kono stated, “This visit marks the first visit to Fiji in 32 years by a Japanese Foreign Minister, and choice of Fiji as the first stop of my tour of Pacific island countries demonstrates the importance Japan attaches to Fiji”.
- In response, Minister Seruiratu welcomed Minister Kono’s visit and expressed gratitude for all Japan’s supports. Minister Seruiratu expressed an intention to seize this opportunity of Minister Kono’s visit to further strengthen the bilateral relationship.
- The Ministers shared the view that the two countries will continue to cooperate towards a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). Minister Kono stated, “Japan has decided to invest more resources into Pacific island countries aimed at achieving FOIP, and Japan will advance new initiatives focused on the areas of maritime security, connectivity, climate change measures, and disaster risk reduction”. Minister Kono informed Minister Seruiratu regarding the following concrete initiatives, which were welcomed and appreciated by Minister Seruiratu.
(1) Minister Kono reiterated that Japan is making preparations to support Nadi River flood control structures.
(2) Regarding maritime cooperation, Minister Kono conveyed that a training squadron of the Maritime Self-Defense Force will make a port call in the Port of Suva in August and carry out exchange programs.
(3) To promote people-to-people exchanges among the young generation, Minister Kono announced that children will be invited from Pacific island countries to attend next year’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
(4) The Ministers agreed on Japan’s dispatch of a mission for promoting tourism, trade, and investment.
(5) In light of requests from Pacific island countries, and based on a proposal from Prime Minister Bainimarama, the Ministers confirmed that the PALM Ministerial Interim Meeting will be held in Fiji in mid-2020. Minister Kono asked for Fiji’s full cooperation for a successful meeting as the host country.
- Taking into account that next year marks the 50th anniversary of Japan-Fiji diplomatic relations, the Ministers shared the view that they would take the opportunity of Minister Kono’s visit to Fiji to collaborate closely in wide-ranging areas, including people-to-people exchanges, disaster risk reduction, enhancement of connectivity, trade-investment-tourism, maritime security, and climate change, and further deepen the bilateral relationship.