New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hon Bill English’s visit to Japan

Hon Bill English’s meeting with CEO of Konaka Co Ltd, Mr Kensuke Konaka to discuss opportunities for strengthening Konaka’s partnerships with New Zealand businesses

On 11 October, New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hon Bill English, who is visiting Japan from 11-13 October for World Bank/IMF meetings, met with the CEO of Konaka Co Ltd, Mr Kensuke Konaka in Tokyo.

Konaka Co Ltd, a Japan based company that sells men’s clothing, has just launched a new line of coats made from fine merino wool from New Zealand as part of its project “KONAKA X NEW ZEALAND PROJECT” which aims to promote a mutually beneficial relationship between Konaka and New Zealand which extends beyond a typical business relationship. 

During the meeting, Mr Konaka told Mr English that he was impressed by the superior quality of the merino wool produced in New Zealand when he visited recently. The New Zealand wool is distinctive in that has longer fibres and is a whiter colour than other wools.  He also appreciated first hand that New Zealand sheep farmers take excellent care of their stock and the environment.  This personal experience with New Zealand farmers encouraged him to investigate ways to showcase New Zealand’s beautiful natural environment and its people.

Given that Mr English has previously worked in the wool industry and his constituency is based in Central Otago, the home of many fine merino farms, Mr English was well placed to discuss practical ways to boost cooperation in this area. As Konaka Company is looking to expand its operations overseas, there will be increased opportunities for Konaka and New Zealand to work together in the future.

For further details on “KONAKA×NEW ZEALAND PROJECT’see Konaka’s website:

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