Recently terminated National Federation Party provisional candidate Hiroshi Taniguchi has apologized for the comments he made in relation to Fiji’s land system.
The comments have cost Taniguchi his chances to contest the 2022 General Election under the NFP banner, however, he claims his comments were misrepresented, and it saddens him.
Taniguchi says his proposal is to ensure that the Mataqali need to have more participation in any decision regarding their land.
Taniguchi had advocated for a change in land laws that would allow Mataqali land to be subdivided as the landowners desired, but it required the approval of 60% of the village population.
Many have argued that this proposal will weaken landowners’ influence and may reduce indigenous ownership of their own land.
But Taniguchi believes his proposal still prioritizes the welfare of landowners.
“They should be given more opportunities to be able to decide on this matter on what they want to do with their land. My expression on this has been misinterpreted and if you feel I have hurt you, then I have to apologize to you. I’m very sorry.”
Despite the national backlash, Taniguchi is still determined to remain in politics but hasn’t revealed which party he will be joining.