In recognition of the longstanding cooperation between Fiji and Japan, the Government of Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to assist Fiji through robust assistance package towards revitalizing Fiji’s economic activities and support for the consolidated response strategies to addressing COVID19.
Ambassador of Japan to Fiji, His Excellency OMURA Masahiro says that Japan is currently considering the bilateral grant assistance to Fiji for enhancing the medical and health care services through provisions of medical equipment.
More assistance is also expected to be geared towards Fiji’s economic recovery efforts in light of the impacts of the COVID19 global economic recession.
“A possible bilateral emergency loan for COVID-19 response with a concessional interest rate is currently under consideration. Also bilateral grant for the medical and health capacity building is being considered, these are two important financial contributions.
Also we have Grants Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), and through this we will provide assistance towards building infrastructure, educational facilities, water supplies, medical and health facilities. Japan will be formulating further projects for Fiji under the GGP scheme,”
Ambassador OMURA said .He stated that with Japan and Fiji commemorating their 50th anniversary for the diplomatic relations this year, the relationship reflects on the unbreakable bond and friendship that will unfold new opportunities for building resilience and sustainable development cooperation.
“Since Fiji’s independence and establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries we have continued to build stronger cooperative friendship through addressing common challenges. I am sure that we will also overcome the challenges of COVID19 by working together in solidarity,” Ambassador OMURA elaborated.
He said that a major milestone of the bilateral relations between Japan and Fiji this year has seen the disbursement 2.15 billion JPY (approximately FJ$44.7 million) from Japan’s stand-by loan facility through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as based on the exchange note signed between the Japanese Government and the Fijian Government in December 2019.
As part of the arrangement through this loan for Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation, Fiji can access up to 5 billion JPY (approximately FJ$100million) in loan with concessional rate of 0.01 per cent interest rate and with the repayment term of 40-years and as well as 10 years grace period. As part of the humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of cyclone TC Harold, the Government of Japan has also assisted Fiji through providing emergency relief goods such as tents, water tanks, generators through JICA
.Japan has also assisted Fiji through its contributions to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (US$ 467,000) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCS) (US$122,500) in providing capacity building in health and medical emergency responses to COVID19 pandemic.In March this year, Japan also provided a funding assistance ofFJ$18 million to Fiji through its Economic Social Development Programme (ESDP) for the procurement of tsunami early warning systems, a dredger and an ice plant.
Japan and Fiji since 1970 have shared cordial relations through promotion of cooperation in areas of socioeconomic and people-to-people relations between the two countries.