New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan


Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, made a two-day official visit to Japan this week.  This was first such defence chief visit to Japan since early 2008.  The Japanese extended a  very warm welcome to Lt General Jones through an honour guard ceremony and meetings with top ranking military officers and Defence officials in Japan including Jones’ counterpart General Iwasaki.


Kiwi sailors are back in the action in the ultimate sailing contest – the 34th America’s Cup, which is being sailed in the waters off San Francisco. In the preliminary contest among the challengers, the Louis Vuitton Cup, the giant new 26m AC72 catamarans are hitting speeds in excess of 40 knots (74 km/h).


Earlier this year a Hokkaido-based Ainu group visited New Zealand for a month-long exchange programme involving several iwi (tribes) in different parts of the country. The exchange came out of a visit to Sapporo in January 2012 by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell.  Japan based Maori culture group Nga Hau E Wha, have forged a friendship with Ainu in Japan.


This afternoon in Wellington the director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office, Taipei (NZCIO Taipei) and the Director of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Wellington (TECO, Wellington) signed an Economic Cooperation Agreement.


After meeting in Auckland on 9 June New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida released a joint statement, saying that the two countries were committed to bringing a new vigour and vision to the relationship. Click here for the full text in English.


It was announced in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours list that Mr Naoya Kakizoe, former president of Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd, has been made an Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to New Zealand-Japan relations.


New Zealand’s energy and labour minister, Hon Simon Bridges, was invited by Nikkei Inc to participate in the 19th International Conference on the Future of Asia, held in Tokyo 23-24 May. Mr Bridges made a wide-ranging speech on 24 May covering TPP, energy, climate change and the New Zealand-Japan relationship. Click here for the full speech.


The Innovation to Industry Functional Food Seminar (I2I) was held in Tokyo 20-24 May 2013.  The New Zealand delegation comprised representatives from the Riddet Institute, Plant and Food Research Limited, AgResearch, Callaghan Innovation, Massey University, University of Auckland, Otago University, Fonterra, ANZCO, Manuka Health, Nutrizeal, Fonterra, Separex, and Douglas Pharmaceuticals. 


Research released by the New Zealand Asia Institute today has found that Japan joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could potentially trigger a revitalisation of its agriculture sector.

For further details please see the attached PDF file (English only) below.


New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English delivered the 2013 budget today, which included a series of hard-hitting reforms aimed at bursting the housing bubble and providing affordable housing for low income families.

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