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Goff to visit Japan

Goff to visit Japan

Foreign Minister Phil Goff leaves on Sunday for a three-day visit to Japan that will focus on Pacific and bilateral issues.

Mr Goff will update Japanese leaders on the recently completed Pacific Islands Forum Review. He will be joined in those discussions by Forum Secretary-General Greg Urwin.

“Japan is a significant contributor to the Pacific Forum, and with New Zealand currently Forum Chair, I welcome the opportunity to discuss with them current developments and views in the Pacific region," Mr Goff said.

Mr Goff will also hold bilateral discussions with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, and the Minister of Trade, Economy and Industry, Soichi Nakagawa.

Later in the trip he will deliver a speech to the Japanese Institute of International Affairs on enhancing Asia/Pacific Cooperation and Integration, attend a breakfast meeting with NZ businessmen and members of the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of Japan.

“New Zealand has a strong and long-standing relationship with Japan, which we value highly. Japan is our third-largest trading partner, and the range of business, government, cultural and other contacts between our people is constantly expanding," Mr Goff said.

“We want to consolidate the good working relationship we have with the recently re-elected Koizumi Government. I look forward to discussing in Japan foreign policy and security priorities, and in particular issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region and New Zealand.

Mr Goff will also visit the site of the 2005 Aichi World Expo, in which New Zealand will have a pavilion.

“New Zealand has committed $8.5 million towards taking part in the Aichi World Expo, which runs for six months next year. Our pavilion will showcase New Zealand creativity and talent to millions of Japanese consumers.

“Our decision to participate in the Expo underlines the importance we place on our relationship with Japan,” Mr Goff said.

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