Local journalists tour two Japan-funded projects

28th October, 2022 Japanese Ambassador to Tonga, H.E Mr. MUNENAGA Kensaku led a half-day press tour program on October 26 for local journalists to project sites funded by the Government and People of Japan.

The project sites included the Capacity Development of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) using Telemedicine under Covid-19 (ICU container) at the Vaiola Hospital and the new Tonga Broadcasting Commission Building through the Introduction of Nationwide Early Warning System (NEWS) and Strengthening Disaster Communications.

H.E Mr. Kensaku MUNENAGA said, “In 2020 and in 2021, due to the severe border restrictions for COVID-19, Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects were hindered because Japanese technicians were unable to come to Tonga. Without having new ODA projects, a press tour doesn’t make sense.”


Project for Capacity Development of ICU using Telemedicine under COVID-19

The Capacity Development of ICU using Telemedicine under Covid-19 Project was worth approximately TOP$7.8 million and was funded through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in response to an official request from the Tongan Government to the Government of Japan.

The implementing agency was the Ministry of Health and the project’s overall goal was to strengthen Tonga’s medical care services to ensure the critically ill patients from Covid-19 as well as other diseases are well treated.

The components of the project included:

  1. Provision of Trainings on intensive cares (including diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases), operation of ICU telemedicine system conducted on remote basis by Japanese doctors and nurse specialized in intensive care.
  2. Provision of 14 containers unit include five ICU rooms, utilities facilities, and staff room. The facility is also equipped with medical equipment necessary for ICU operations, such as mobile digital X-ray machine, Electrocardiogram, mobile ventilator, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment for telemedicine.


NEWS Project

The Ministry of MEIDECC submitted the first multi-hazard early warning project (NEWS) for Tonga to the Japanese Embassy on behalf of the Tongan Government in Nuku’alofa on February 1, 2016.

CEO for MEIDECC Mr Paula Ma’u said, “The proposal was based on Tonga’s vulnerability to natural disasters and the need for a proper nationwide early warning systems.”

“Its prime objective is to save lives by promoting social and economic development through the improvement of disaster information dissemination in the Kingdom of Tonga.”

The total budget for this project was around TOP$59 million.

The project’s components were:

  1. Emergency Radio Communications – tsunami early warnings can be broadcasted immediately from Tonga Meteorological Services (TMS) to all responsible agencies for public dissemination. The system can be utilized as robust and reliable radio communications network amongst disaster related organizations for immediate response.
  2. Early Warning Sound Alert System – the system will disseminate advanced public warnings as well as advices for immediate evacuation from TMS/NEMO using outdoor and indoor sound devices [Loud Speaker Sirens/Remote Activation Receiver (RAR)].
  3. MW Radio Broadcasting System – TBC MW Radio Broadcasting System covers the whole of Tonga, improvement of the system infrastructure and reception quality throughout the remote islands [TBC HQ Building, MW Transmitter and FM Re-transmission System].

The Implementing Agency for this project was the Ministry of MEIDECC and Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC).

The tour was attended by journalists from TBC, BroadCom FM, Matangi Tonga Online, Kele’a, Kakalu Newspaper, FM 88.6, Prime Minister’s Office and Tonga Portal.




Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communications

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Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu Fakamatala 'Ea kihe Kaha'u

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