Fiji taking steps to go digital

May 30, 2023

Government of Japan Digital Agency Director, Mr. Hiroyuki Kato, sharing lessons learned from Japan’s rollout of a digital arrival card.

Photo: UNDP

Suva, Fiji - A delegation from the Government of Japan's Digital Agency has arrived in Suva to establish a collaborative partnership with counterparts from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.  

Following an initial video link in April, representatives are in Fiji to discuss the implementation of a digital arrival card for the country. The team will discuss lessons learned from the successful rollout of a digitized arrivals system earlier this year in Japan, with the visit to assist in identifying potential areas of collaboration, provide technical support for a similar implementation in Fiji and discuss how this work can best align with Fiji’s overall digital transformation strategy.

This work is being undertaken with support from the Government of Japan and its Integrated Border Management Project, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project aims to support relevant agencies in Fiji, Palau and Vanuatu in reinforcing their capacities, capabilities and systems for effective and efficient movement of travelers and cargo, and to strengthen links for data and knowledge sharing, inter-agency and cross-regional cooperation.

The Digital Arrival Card is an electronic version of the physical arrival card currently in use, containing personal information, trip and health declaration details. It is an online document that can be accessed through mobile devices and computers allowing passengers to fill and submit information prior to arrival, and is currently used in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.  

Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, Hon. Pio Tikoduadua, said the visit from Japan’s Digital Agency was timely, with the digitization of systems and processes being a key item within Fiji’s National Border Security Upgrade Priorities (2023-2028) currently being developed by the Ministry.

Government of Japan Digital Agency Director, Mr. Hiroyuki Kato (left) discusses the digital arrival card with Hon. Pio Tikoduadua, Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration.

Photo: UNDP

“The automation of Fiji’s passenger arrival card or digitization of the arrivals processes sets the stage for a future where there will be seamless entry experiences, advanced data management, and robust security measures become the norm. This process will strengthen the country's immigration and security systems, and on behalf of the Fiji Government, I thank the Government of Japan for its support in this area of work,” Hon. Tikoduadua said.  

Director of the Government of Japan’s Digital Agency, Hiroyuki Kato, made note of the significance of the collaboration.  

“It is our pleasure to share our experiences of Visit Japan Web with Fiji. At the same time, we would also like to learn from Fiji in terms of future improvements for Visit Japan Web. We are excited to be here and to see Fiji and Japan working together,” he said.

Resident Representative a.i. UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Dawn Del Rio, said the project champions collaboration and knowledge sharing, with the visit by Japan’s Digital Agency providing a boost to Fiji’s future border management activities.

“The rationale behind a digitalization strategy is clear, but the extent of the challenges in regard to execution are frequently underestimated. Through this visit from Japan’s Digital Agency, and with ongoing support from UNDP’s Integrated Border Management Project, we are establishing practical cooperation among crucial border management officials, policy makers and government employees, not solely in Fiji but throughout the region,” she said.  

The two-day consultation is being held in Suva with guests from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Fiji Airports, Fiji Airways, International Organization for Migration, Digital Fiji, Customs, and the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji in attendance.  

This work is supported by the International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.  

For further media enquiries please contact:

Nick Turner, Communications and Advocacy Specialist, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. (P) +679 971 6458 - (E)