Meeting Between Mrs. Akie Abe, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan and Mrs. Maria Bainimarama, Spouse of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji

3 June 2015

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On 19 May 2015, Mrs. Akie Abe, spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting with Mrs. Maria Bainimarama, spouse of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji.  Mrs. Bainimarama accompanied her husband, the Honourable Prime Minister of Fiji, in order to attend the 7th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM7) held in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Referring to the Fijian Government’s scholarship assistance to host Japanese students affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake to study in Fijian educational institutions, Mrs. Abe expressed her appreciation for such compassion and goodwill shown by Fiji towards students who forge the county’s future.  In response, Mrs. Bainimarama said Fiji was honoured to be of the assistance to Japan and the encouragement provided to the students was worth the effort.  Mrs. Bainimarama also said she wanted the students to visit Fiji again.

Mrs. Bainimarama also mentioned that she launched the “Read to Lead - Fiji” program aimed at distributing books to all primary schools in Fiji within this year to inspire the children towards realizing the importance of reading.  Mrs. Abe and Mrs. Bainimarama also exchanged views on the importance of child education.  The meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere.

(Reference) Assistance from Fiji after the Great East Japan Earthquake
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Fijian Government expressed its support for providing scholarship assistance to 20 Japanese students in total (10 university and 10 high school students) affected by the earthquake for free education in Fijian schools.  The Fijian Government covered tuition, roundtrip airfares between Japan and Fiji, cost of living, etc.