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  • 28 Jul 2017 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    THE HON STEVEN CIOBO MP
    Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
    REMARKS
    LAUNCH OF THE REPORT
    JAPANESE INVESTMENT IN AUSTRALIA – A TRUSTED PARTNERSHIP

    I am delighted to launch Austrade’s report Japanese Investment in Australia- A Trusted
    Partnership today.


    This report recognises and celebrates the significant role of Japanese investment in Australia. It reinforces the clear message that Australia welcomes productive foreign investment, consistent with our national interest, from around the world, including Japan. While recognising the long history of our investment relationship, importantly, it looks to the future and to new areas of investment cooperation emerging with Japan.


    The launch coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Agreement on Commerce signed by our two countries in July 1957.


    This agreement set the foundation for closer bilateral ties between Japan and Australia, one built on trust, shared values and common approaches to economic cooperation.


    The agreement had its critics, but it was a clear sign that Sir Robert Menzies’ Government recognised a strong trade and investment relationship with Asia would be a key driver of Australia’s future prosperity.

    Some of Australia’s largest export industries in resources and energy, such as iron ore, coal and LNG, were underpinned by significant and sustained Japanese investment. Think of the opening up of the riches of the iron ore of the Pilbara, the coal of the Bowen Basin and the LNG of the North-West Shelf.

    Long-term purchase contracts by Japanese buyers, in particular, from trading houses, major Japanese steel mills and power companies, were a catalyst for Australian and other
    international joint venture partners to invest in these multibillion dollar minerals and energy projects.

    These large and complex resources and energy projects have driven regional development, created tens of thousands of jobs for Australians, and generated billions in export income. They also fuelled the rapid industrialisation of Japan, boosting prosperity for the people of Japan and bringing our countries ever-closer through shared commercial, political, strategic and people-to-people links.


    Today, Japan is our second largest export market and second largest source of foreign direct investment after the US – and its investment in our country continues to grow.

    The report highlights that from 2010 and 2016, the stock of Japanese direct investment in Australia increased by 78 per cent to over A$91 billion.

    In terms of reinvestment, Japanese companies lead the way. They invested around A$4
    billion in 2016 into Australian subsidiaries, greater than reinvestment from UK and US
    companies. As these Japanese companies maintain an ongoing presence in Australia, their investments are diversifying into new sectors.


    In innovation and technology, Australia continues to be an ideal testing ground for Japan’s R&D, and a platform for expansion into other Asian and Western markets.

    NEC and Fujitsu representatives are here with us today and they have both established major R&D hubs in Australia which are an integral part of technology solutions. These hubs also tap into Australian talent, and look to the jobs of future in the tech sectors.

    We are also seeing major Japanese companies invest in Australia’s services sector and in manufacturing.


    Services are an important part of the Australian economy and equates to around 75 per cent of our GDP.


    I am delighted to be here today at Oji Fibre Solutions soon-to-be-completed world-class
    manufacturing facility, the result of A$72 million investment that will create more than 70 jobs by 2019.


    Oji Fibre Solutions’ new facility is a good example of innovation that will introduce new manufacturing technology, opening up new prospects for food exporters in Queensland, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.


    Set to operate with a 5 star Green Star environmental rating, it will consume less water and electricity than comparable packaging companies.

     

    Oji’s packaging technology enhances Australian exporters’ premium goods offering to highend consumers in Asia, by ensuring the goods arrive in pristine condition. That means this Japanese investment not only creates jobs directly in the facility, but also boosts the chance for more jobs in the high-end food production sectors in Australia.

    Investments such as Oji’s are a very real example of how the Japan-Australia Economic
    Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), or the Japan-Australia FTA, is delivering prosperity and jobs around our country.

    By providing better access for Australian agribusiness and food and beverage exporters,
    JAEPA delivers not just benefits for primary producers – and we are proud that Australia is the only major agricultural exporter to have a high-quality FTA with Japan - but is stimulating new rounds of business investment with jobs during the construction phase and new manufacturing jobs on an ongoing basis

    So I would like to congratulate Oji Fibre Solutions for their foresight in establishing this
    state- of-the-art manufacturing facility.


    It is yet another example of the many and varied ways our two countries cooperate in
    commerce, for mutual benefit. Please accept my best wishes for the success of this venture and for the further development of your links within Australia.

    Thank you.


    Austrade - Japan Investment in Australia - launced 28 July 2017.pdf

  • 14 Jul 2017 10:48 AM | Anonymous

    Media release | 13 July 2017


    Sydney will be home to a world leading startup and innovation hub, creating up to 6,500 new jobs, thanks to a $35 million investment from the NSW Government.

    Sydney Startup Hub will be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and will allow entrepreneurs to develop innovative business ideas that will create job opportunities across regional and metro NSW.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced today Jobs for NSW will fund the hub, which will be spread over more than 17,000 square meters and 11 floors.

    “This is an unprecedented investment from the NSW Government, which will support businesses and drive jobs growth across the State,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “When Sydney Startup Hub opens it will be in a central location to help both local and international entrepreneurs flourish.

    “More than 40 per cent of the nation’s startups are in NSW already and with the addition of this hub and the White Bay precinct we want to see that figure grow.”

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro, today announced the NSW Government is backing the success of the Sydney Startup Hub, which will be located on York Street in the Sydney CBD.

    “The Sydney Startup Hub will support businesses, turbocharge the startup ecosystem, and drive job creation across the State,” Mr Barilaro said.

    “The NSW Government is pleased to include a fantastic roll call of tenants including; Stone and Chalk, Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs and The Studio.

    “We are leaving no stone unturned. In addition to the 2,500 residents, the hub will welcome regional entrepreneurs from the wider startup ecosystem through the regional landing pad and community and events space.”

    For further information visit: www.jobsfornsw.com.au.

  • 12 Jul 2017 12:58 PM | Anonymous


    Photo credit: TPP.guide

    Trade officials from the Pacific Rim trade initiative are commencing talks today in the Japanese mountain town of Hakone, west of Tokyo. The meetings are aimed at reworking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement whose future had been hanging in the balance ever since the U.S left treaty negotiations.

    The talks follow from a joint Ministerial Statement released after  meetings at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in May, 2017. Eleven countries, including long term supporters of the TPP, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, are attending.

    This renewed push has been led by Japan and New Zealand, the only two countries who had ratified the original treaty. New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said back in May that New Zealand was “committed to progressing a TPP agreement because we believe that it’s in our region’s interest, it’s in the interest of our countries and it’s in the interest of global stability”.

    The talks face some tough decisions regarding reworking the agreement, as the original wording and commencement mechanisms relied on the United States and their economic size. However, the remaining countries are optimistic that a new agreement can be reached and offer genuine economic opportunities.

    It is hoped that any deal would set high standards over trade rules, labour, environmental and intellectual property protections, ensuring a level of standardisation in order to make business easier and more efficient.

    The officials in Hakone reportedly are aiming to make real progress in their negotiations before the Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam in November.

    You can find the TPP Partner's Statement and Ministerial Statement from May on the DFAT website: Here

    You can also find the Ministerial Statement on the New Zealand Government website: Here

    For media inquiries please contact ANZCCJ Executive Director at cristina.merino@anzccj.jp

  • 08 Jul 2017 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Another example of the potential for growth in the FinTech industry between Australia and Japan. Marubeni Corporation, together with Mizuho Financial Group and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance have successfully completed a trial transaction between Japan and Australia entirely over a Blockchain network.


    "Blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology (DLT). It utilizes a system of consensus formation among participants to enable transactions to take place even in the absence of a trusted central authority."  (Marubeni Corporation 2017)

    Financial transactions, which usually take days to process, can be cut down to just hours using this new form of financial technology (FinTech). 

    Additionally,  the decentralised nature of the technology provides unprecedented levels of security against fraud and processing errors. In a previous trial of blockchain technology conducted in 2016, Mizuho claimed it was “practically impossible to tamper with transaction histories”.

    Faster transaction times, increased transaction transparency and bolstered security are just some of the potential benefits found by the trial. 

    Further improvements in productivity are waiting to be unlocked as the uptake of this rapidly improving technology becomes more widespread.

    Read Marubeni's press release here


  • 06 Jul 2017 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Photo Credit: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

    Article by James Grimes, ANZCCJ Secretariat

    60 years ago today, history was made in the relationship between Australia and Japan. On the 6th of July 1957, despite the forces of the then not so distant history and the weight of public opinion, our two countries came together to sign a trade agreement that would shape the direction of ongoing relations between Australia and Japan for decades to come. Indeed, even today the legacy of this agreement can still be felt and understood as one of the earliest foundations of our great friendship and strong partnership.

    The remarkableness of this achievement cannot be understated. At the time Australian Government officials faced a punishing uphill task in convincing the Australian public of the value of any trade deal with Japan, for at that time memories of the recent conflict were still fresh. However, these officials, such as Minister for Trade John McEwen, realised that our future was, and is always, going to be linked intimately with Asia. As a result and thanks to the foresight of those who were brave enough to look beyond and see what could bind us together, rather than what could separate us, we broke new ground and made an extraordinary dream of a more prosperous and secure region become reality.

    The treaty was the first of its kind for Japan, significantly lowering tariffs and granting favoured nation status between much of the trade between Australia and Japan. When it came into effect, for many it was like walking into the unknown. We did not know what the exact impacts would be and the way events would play out. As fortune would have it, the agreement not only helped to pave the way forward for both Australia and Japan’s ongoing economic growth, but it also laid the foundations for a truly special relationship between our two countries for decades to come.

    Within a decade, Japan had overtaken the United Kingdom to become Australia’s largest export market and one of our most significant trading partners. The agreement was instrumental in establishing the relationships and mutual trust required for further treaties, such as the 1963 rework of the original 1957 agreement, the 1976 Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, the 1995 Join Declaration on the Australia-Japan Partnership, and then most recently the 2014 Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement. The 2014 agreement deserves to be regarded as the spiritual successor to the original 1957 treaty, for as one of the most liberalising trade agreements Japan has ever signed, it too follows in the tradition of breaking down barriers and reinforcing our two nation’s position as key partners and good friends.

    Even today, 60 years later, Japan is still Australia’s third highest trading partner, with two-way goods and services trade valued at over $60 billion dollars. The goods and services that move between our countries are as varied as our nations themselves, covering natural resources, agricultural products, automobiles, electronics, financial and legal services, education, as well as investment and the development of technology.

    These connections have led to the creation of links that transcend commerce alone. Tourism between our two countries is booming, a trend that began in the late 50’s after the signing of the original commerce treaty. With the increased exposure to the idea of Japan as a partner and a friend, Australian airlines faced significant pressure as demand outstripped supply in regards to flights to and from Japan. This curiosity and desire to see and learn more about each other’s cultures is something that is still felt by people today.

    We are two countries bound by shared values, common goals and a belief in the value of the rules-based international order. Our friendship has deepened over the past 60 years, and our ties have become stronger. Much of the work we have done together and the accomplishments we have achieved stem from the ground that was broken 60 years ago when Australia and Japan overcame adversity and the weight of history to step forward into a shared and bright future.

    This legacy is one that we carry forward as we continue to work together, as partners, as friends, and as colleagues. The Chamber is excited to continue this tradition of fostering these ongoing relationships as we look forward to the next 60 years of Australian and Japanese relations.

    For media inquiries please contact the ANZCCJ Executive Director at: cristina.merino@anzccj.jp

  • 30 Jun 2017 10:19 AM | Anonymous


    The Rt. Hon. Bill English, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and his wife visited Japan for an official working visit from Tuesday, 16 May to Thursday 18 May 2017. During his stay, the Prime Minister met with Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe, and visited a number of key locations in Japan which have strong trade links with New Zealand.

    To mark the occasion, the New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton has written a letter detailing the Prime Minister’s visit, and thanking the Japanese government, as well as Australian and New Zealand colleagues and friends in Japan for marking the occasion.

    Prime Minister English had previously visited Japan in his previous ministerial posts, but this was his first trip to Japan as Prime Minister, and the visit further reinforced and strengthened the relationship between Japan and New Zealand.

    To read HE Stephen Payton’s Thank you letter, click here

    To read the Prime Ministers’ Joint Press Release, click here

  • 21 Jun 2017 2:33 PM | Anonymous
    As of 21 July, Air New Zealand will be flying into Haneda Airport. Air New Zealand currently operates daily flights to Narita, increasing to 10 times a week over the peak months. From 21 July, the three additional peak services will operate to Haneda Airport. Using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the Haneda services will depart Auckland on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
    Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace said the direct Auckland-Haneda Tokyo route would offer more choice for customers traveling to and from Japan.  


  • 19 Jun 2017 5:08 PM | Anonymous


    Boosting productivity by changing the way we work: A look at the third arrow of Abenomics

    19 June 2017

    By Eve Bentley

    As part of the ANZCCJ’s Abenomics event series, we held a lunchtime networking event at the Roppongi Hills Club featuring keynote speech from Gaku Hashimoto, Japanese State Minister for State Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare. Given the complexities of the Japanese social economy, there has been increasing efforts to create innovative solutions from Japanese corporations and the government in order to address these concerns.  Exemplifying this, the event featured four panellists from four respective companies in Japan, each addressing the promotion of productivity in the workplace with varying strategies.

    Minister Hashimoto outlined a number of measures under the governmental framework towards Japan’s Work Style Reform. Given Japan’s unique demographic context of an aging population and low birth-rate, it is essential for the Japanese government to attempt regulation in some areas in order to facilitate the continuation of productivity and labour participation. Issues that he addressed include those such as overtime work, fairness in salaries for regular and non-regular workers and balancing childcare to encourage men to take a greater role in parenting, as well as encouraging the elderly and women greater flexibility and access in workplace opportunities. These issues are inherently complex, and the government relies on corporations to embrace and include these in their operations. As such, our panellists gave a number of highly relevant examples of boosting productivity through addressing the issues Hashimoto discussed, which in turn provided inspiration to the many guests representing a number of corporate spheres in Japan. 

    Our panellists for this instalment of the Abenomics series included; Mr Senri Tanida, President of Tanita Corporation, Mr Taku Nishimura, President of SOW Experience, Ms Shizuka Aone, Head of Corporate Affairs at Lendlease Japan and finally Mr Laurent Gachet, CEO of Edenred Japan. 

    Tanita Corporation – a new ANZCCJ member, monitors its employees’ health and wellbeing through the use of nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Improving productivity through this monitoring system has allowed for Tanita to reduce its employee’s average BMI’s to healthy levels, and their work has been highlighted in two governmental white papers.  Mr. Nishimura, of SOW experience, explained the benefits of allowing employees to bring their children to work with them, and provide flexible ways for women to work. Creating such an environment has clear benefits to both employers and employees, and has been successful in allowing companies to maintain their employees for the longer term.

    Ms. Aone, from Lendlease Japan, detailed the flexible working practices which have been adopted at Lendlease, and encourage a workplace that meet’s all stakeholder’s expectations, and is a good environment to work in.   Their working hour policy is from 7am to 10pm, as opposed to the regular working day hours of 9am to 5.30pm, as well as no work on weekends. Whilst this may resemble only a slight change, it is clear that in Japan, working hours have significant impact. This policy by Lendlease encourages diversity, inclusion and ensures that employees are mindful of work life balance. Lastly, Mr Gachet, of Edenred Japan explained the benefits for corporations, both large and small-medium enterprises, of giving employees real purchasing power through their meal card allowance system. For many employees, the money allocated to them normally is not enough to pay for sufficient meals. As such, Edenred’s system demonstrates that over 99% of card funds are utilised at the cooperating restaurant and convenience stores, and in Japan, providing meals can prove to be a valuable workplace strategy in terms of supporting the employees.

    As always, the Panel was concluded with a lively Q&A session, featuring questions to Minister Hashimoto and the other speakers. In conclusion, ANZCCJ would like to acknowledge and thank Mr Jakob Edberg, President and CEO, GR Japan for his moderating of this event and Tanita Corporation for their kind gifts to all of our guests. 

     

     

     

  • 15 Jun 2017 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    ANZCCJ Meet Our Ambassadors

    Event wrap up by Eve Bentley


    The Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ANZCCJ) was pleased to welcome both our Patrons, Australian Ambassador to Japan, HE Richard Court AC; and New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton, at an evening networking event at the Roppongi Hills Club on 14 June 2017. This was a unique opportunity for ANZCCJ members to meet the ambassadors, hear about their individual connections with Japan, as well as their country’s relationship with Japan, economically, culturally and politically.

    ANZCCJ Chair Andrew Gauci welcomed the Ambassadors, remarking that both of them are “fantastic supporters of the business community,” a sentiment that was shared by the Ambassadors regarding the importance of ANZCCJ members in forging business-to-business ties in Japan.

    The evening featured speeches from both Ambassadors, the transcripts of which you can read below, followed by a Q&A session. Questions asked included the impact of large sporting events in New Zealand (World Masters Games 2017) and how this could be replicated in Japan in 2021, how to promote diversity in sport and showcase Australia and New Zealand in regional areas, and finally the Ambassadors' thoughts on the TPP and climate change agenda in the absence of US Support.

    ANZCCJ would like to thank the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Australia Business Cooperation Committee, and the Japan New Zealand Business Council for co-hosting this event with us.

    14 June 2017

    Speech, Check against delivery

    Tokyo, Japan

    Speech by HE Richard Court AC, Australian Ambassador to Japan

    Minasan Konbanwa.

    To Chairman Andrew, and to Ambassador Stephen, and our dear friend Kojima-san.

    I would like to thank the members of the ANZCCJ for making myself and Mrs Court so welcome in Tokyo, three months ago.

    My personal career path has enabled me to work on both sides of the fence, 20 years in political life, and the remainder in the private sector.

    It has taught me to respect the role of government, and involving both politicians and the bureaucracy, and it has taught me to respect the role that the private sector plays, in particular the importance of capital and risk.

    For the last four years, for the last four decades, China, Korea, and Japan have played a major role in my working life. It is however, Australia’s incredibly strong bilateral relationship with Japan that I have enjoyed working with the most. It is a relationship that is the envy of many countries.

    Since the second world war, Australia has grown in three big ways, with a lot of chop in between.

    The first wave came with Japan rebuilding after the war, and it needed resources, it needed minerals and energy. And just twelve years after the war, in 1957, a commerce agreement between our two countries was signed.

    Trust and Confidence grew, and the foundations that were laid in the early 1960s, are still delivering significant benefits to both countries today.

    The second wave was the Korean making its own economic success. And the third wave, a big wave, was the incredible economic success we have seen in China.

    The downside of the China story was that is has been very large and quick, building unrealistic expectations within both the government and the public in Australia.

    So, primary production, agriculture, minerals and energy remains the backbone strength of the Australian economy. But unfortunately, the old economic adage is correct, that is primary producers are Prize takers not prize setters, so when commodity prices are down, Australia hurts.

    Today’s challenge for Australia is to diversify our economy, and it is happening although it is not always fully appreciated. But we are seeing big changes in tourism, information technology, in the financial and insurance services areas, infrastructure, health services and many other areas.

    The positive legacy of our strong bilateral relationship is that the trust in investment has flowed through to trust at the political level, people level and the strategic defence level.

    There is always a risk however that the consistent positive trajectory in the Australia-Japan relationship may lead to complacency in how we look at each other, and we cannot take this strong relationship for granted.

    An Australian Prime Minister Menzies observed, “More good things in life are lost by indifference than ever were lost by active hostility.”

    The onus is on all of us not just to adapt as circumstances change, but actively seek out new opportunities. And for our part the Australian government is thinking ahead about how we present modern innovative Australia to Japan.

    Next year, we will organise a major celebration of Australia in Japan called Australia Now, and we are looking forward to partnering with you to implement an ambitious program of events throughout 2018.

    We are also working with many of you to future proof the relationship through initiatives such as the AJBCC future leaders program, led by Co-Chairs Mr Gerard Adams and Ms. Chisato Kaieda and the ANZCCJ and its members enthusiastic hosting of the New Colombo Plan interns.

    It is the ANZCCJ members, in this room tonight, who play a critical role forging the real business to business links which drive this relationship forward.

    And we look forward to strengthening the respective roles of the government and the private sector in this critical bilateral relationship.

    Arigatou Gozaimasu.

    - Ends -

  • 15 Jun 2017 9:57 AM | Anonymous

    ANZCCJ Meet Our Ambassadors

    Event wrap up by Eve Bentley


    The Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ANZCCJ) was pleased to welcome both our Patrons, Australian Ambassador to Japan, HE Richard Court AC; and New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton, at an evening networking event at the Roppongi Hills Club on 14 June 2017. This was a unique opportunity for ANZCCJ members to meet the Ambassadors, hear about their individual connections with Japan, as well as their country’s relationship with Japan, economically, culturally and politically.

    ANZCCJ Chair Andrew Gauci welcomed the Ambassadors, remarking that both of them are “fantastic supporters of the business community,” a sentiment that was shared by the Ambassadors in their speeches regarding the importance of ANZCCJ members in forging business-to-business ties in Japan.

    The evening featured speeches from both Ambassadors, the transcripts of which you can read below, as well as a brief Q&A session. Questions asked included the impact of large sporting events in New Zealand (World Masters Games 2017) and how this could be replicated in Japan in 2021, how to promote diversity in sport and showcase Australia and New Zealand in regional areas, and finally the ambassador’s thoughts on the TPP and climate change agenda in the absence of US Support.

    The ANZCCJ would like to thank the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Australia Business Cooperation Committee, and the Japan New Zealand Business Council for co-hosting this event with us.

    14 June 2017

    Speech, Check against delivery

    Speech by HE Stephen Payton, New Zealand Ambassador to Japan

    Minasan Kombanwa.

    Ladies and Gentlemen good evening, I am delighted and a little bit embarrassed to be in the spotlight this evening.

    I would like to thank the Chamber for hosting this event, and particularly Chairman Shindo and Vice-Chairman Kojima for attending tonight despite your busy schedules.

    I would like to say at the outset, how much I have appreciated the work of the ANZCCJ and the support it gives to New Zealand’s work in Japan. A very successful lunch hosted by the Chamber for the New Zealand Prime Minister is just the latest example. We value our relationship very much.

    I would also like to record my appreciation for the good cooperation we enjoy with our good colleagues at the Australian Embassy, not least Ambassador and Mrs Court.

    As requested, let me talk briefly about myself. I first came to Japan with my wife Janet Lowe in 1984, and we learnt Japanese in Yokohama and worked as second secretaries at the Embassy.

    We came back to Japan in 1994, I was consular-general in Osaka, Janet worked for the WHO in Kobe, we lived in Kobe with our two young daughters. We were there for the earthquake.

    We have also lived and worked in Fiji, and in Brussels. Janet was the Deputy Head of Mission in Tokyo when I was director of the NZ commerce and industry office in Taipei. I have also worked as New Zealand’s APEC senior official, including when Japan hosted APEC in 2010.

    Three years ago, when Janet was appointed New Zealand Ambassador to the Netherlands, I joined her there and spent two years doing short term assignments including as acting Ambassador in Brussels, Rome and Warsaw. Janet will finally join me here in Tokyo in August (hopefully).

    I am delighted to be back in Japan, and to be here through the Rugby World Cup, Olympics and Paralympics. This is a fascinating country, a very important partner for New Zealand in a very important and difficult region, and this is a very interesting time to be working anywhere.

    That’s enough about me, what about New Zealand and its relationship with Japan?

    This is our longest standing relationship in Asia, and among our most important relationships anywhere in the world. Our close diplomatic relationship over many years is based on shared values and a strong desire to see stability and prosperity in this region, our own region and globally, and we have a growing defence relationship.

    We have strong trade, investment and commercial ties that go back over many years. These have been focused in such areas as Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Aluminum, Tourism and Education. In recent years there has been growing cooperation in new areas such as Energy and various technologies.

    New Zealand does not have preferential access to the Japanese market through a bilateral free trade agreement, therefore TPP has been particularly important for us in this market. The United States’ withdrawal from TPP agreement was very disappointing, Japan’s willingness in the realisation of TPP 11 is very encouraging. At the same time, we are seeking to work with Japan in the area of agriculture in new ways, particularly in Hokkaido.

    As with Australia, our political and economic relationship with Japan has been supplemented over many years by growing people-to-people links, sister cities, friendship societies, cultural exchanges, sports exchanges, educational exchanges, etc.

    Nevertheless, we believe the average Japanese person does not know much about New Zealand beyond the few stereotypical images. This remains a challenge.

    As two countries who experience earthquakes and other natural disasters we cooperate in disaster response and preparedness, in recent year there has been more contact between the Maori and Ainu indigenous peoples. We are still finding new things to do together.

    Looking forward, I believe we will continue to build on the strong relationship I have described, we want to work closely with Japan to address the political and security challenges in this region and beyond.

    We want to deepen and broaden our economic relationship on the basis of a successful TPP agreement and we hope to use the RWC in 2019, the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, and the World Masters Games 2021 to introduce New Zealand and the opportunities of New Zealand to a wider range of Japanese.

    Thank you very much.

    - Ends -

     

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