NATION

JICA Picks First Woman rep in Fiji

“I was nervous at the beginning but as I was warmly welcomed by the staff of JICA Fiji Office as well as all the Fijian officials whom I’ve met, I
09 Feb 2018 11:00
JICA Picks First Woman rep in Fiji
JICA Fiji resident representative Yukari Ono (sitting fourth from left), with the staff of the JICA office in Fiji. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

“I was nervous at the beginning but as I was warmly welcomed by the staff of JICA Fiji Office as well as all the Fijian officials whom I’ve met, I now feel more relaxed and being my natural self.”

New Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) Fiji Resident Representative, Yukari Ono feels more relaxed with her new appointment after the warm reception she received after her arrival.

“I was nervous at the beginning. But as I was warmly welcomed by the staff of JICA Fiji Office as well as all the Fijian officials whom I’ve met, I now feel more relaxed and being my natural self,” Ms Ono said.

Ms Ono is the first female to be appointed to hold this position.

She graduated from Osaka City University in International Law before starting work with JICA right after school and has been with the agency for 30 years.

“I have mainly engaged in human resources development such as training in Japan for developing countries’ participants, training and orientation programs for Japanese experts before their assignment in developing countries, and capacity development of JICA’s own personnel.

“I also have experiences in health sector cooperation in South Asiaincluding stationing in Nepal from 1994-97. Besides operational matters, in the recent years, I was looking after budget and management of JICA’s overseas offices and branch offices all over the world.”

At present, among JICA’s 66 chief representatives all over the world, four are females. The accumulated number is a little more than 10.

“It’s true that Japanese society is on the long way to gender equality.

“The female generation before me had very limited opportunity to be in a responsible position.”

“An equal opportunity law for employed women was introduced in Japan in 1986 and I am among the first generation who have benefited from the law. As my working experience is no less than former male resident representatives, I think that I would be just as same as the other representatives.”

Ms Ono said this year would be a very important year for the relationship between Fiji and Japan with a few events which includes:

  • The 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8) to be held in Iwaki, Japan in May, and it’s pre-meeting by high officials will be held in March.
  • JICA’s President Professor Kitaoka is going to visit Fiji in April. It is after six years from when its ex-president Professor Ogata visited Fiji and Tuvalu in 2012.
  • Fiji Airways will start direct flights to Tokyo, Japan three times a week from July.

Therefore, she said she would like to expedite their cooperation to Fiji in close communication with the Government of Fiji.

“The climate change related issues and human resources developments are important areas of cooperation,” she said.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj

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