New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan
Japanese Prime Minister to visit
The Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe will make an official visit to New Zealand next week, Prime Minister John Key announced today.
“Prime Minister Abe has been spearheading a revival of Japan’s economy and diplomacy,” Mr Key said.
“His visit is an opportunity to mark New Zealand’s long-standing links with Japan through Government, business and personal ties.”
The two Prime Ministers will hold talks on Monday in Auckland and meet with business representatives from both countries.
Mr Abe will then fly to Christchurch to pay respects to 28 Japanese citizens who lost their lives in the Canterbury earthquake.
“I have met Mr Abe a number of times overseas since he came to office in 2012, and I very much look forward to welcoming him to New Zealand,” said Mr Key.
Mr Abe previously visited New Zealand in 1985 (accompanying his father, Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe and Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone) and in 1997 as a member of the Japanese Diet (Parliament).
Mr Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit New Zealand in 1957.
The most recent visit of a Japanese Prime Minister was Junichiro Koizumi in 2002.
Mr Abe will be accompanied by his wife Mrs Akie Abe.