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Enhancing New Zealand – Japan cooperation

John Key

8 JULY, 2014

Enhancing New Zealand – Japan cooperation

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Rt Hon John Key and the Prime Minister of Japan His Excellency Shinzo Abe met in Auckland on 7 July 2014. Prime Minister Key welcomed Prime Minister Abe on his official visit to New Zealand and appreciated Japan’s ongoing commitment to the Pacific region under his leadership.

The two leaders acknowledged the success and maturity of the New Zealand-Japan relationship at all levels - government, business and people-to-people – reflecting strong mutual commitment and cooperation over many years. They endorsed the Joint Statement on a Strategic Cooperative Partnership issued by Foreign Ministers in 2013 as a framework for strengthening the bilateral relationship, and announced the following priority areas for enhancing cooperation.

The two leaders reiterated their commitment to concluding, as soon as possible, a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement consistent with the instructions they issued to their Ministers and negotiators in Bali in October 2013. Prime Minister Key welcomed Prime Minister Abe’s policies to progress structural reform and other measures to revitalise Japan’s economy, as providing added impetus for trade and economic relations between the two countries.

The two leaders encouraged stronger business linkages between New Zealand and Japan in areas of complementary strengths, such as agri-business, natural resource development, geothermal power generation and disaster-reduction technologies. They welcomed the recent growth in joint research in areas like functional food and elderly care robotics.

The two leaders confirmed the importance of strengthening the partnership in food and agriculture between New Zealand and Japan, building on long-standing trade and investment links, a shared commitment to food quality and safety, collaborations involving the food and farming sectors in the two countries, and mutual interest in research on these topics. They expressed the intention to hold a Japan/New Zealand conference in 2015 on ways to promote food and agricultural cooperation.

The two leaders welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Intent on Defence Cooperation in 2013 and encouraged consideration of steps to develop the security and defence relationship, including in the area of exchanges at various levels and logistical support including studies on a possible acquisition and cross-servicing agreement (ACSA).

Based on their countries’ recent experience of natural disasters, the two leaders confirmed they would work together to strengthen disaster risk reduction through regional forums in the Asia-Pacific region, and to cooperate for the success of the Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015. They also noted the recent successful joint workshop on tsunami preparedness held in Samoa.

The two leaders welcomed increased bilateral cooperation in sport and stated their intention to cooperate for the success of the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games being hosted by Japan. Prime Minister Abe reiterated the importance of the “Sport for Tomorrow” initiative, which aims to spread sporting values and promote the Olympic movement for a better future. They participated in the launch of “Game On English”, an education programme offered by New Zealand to provide intensive English language courses alongside expert sports training for young people from Japan.

The two leaders acknowledged the importance of sister city exchanges for promoting mutual understanding especially among young people, and encouraged strengthened support for networking of sister cities to enable effective and efficient exchanges.

The two leaders welcomed steps being taken to deepen the New Zealand-Japan partnership in the Pacific islands region, including the commencement of regular Pacific Consultations as a channel to share views and deepen cooperation.

Noting the two countries’ shared commitment to international peace and security, regional cooperation and the principles and obligations of the United Nations Charter, Prime Minister Key appreciated the issuing of Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, including the recent updating of its framework for security.

The two leaders confirmed that New Zealand and Japan would continue to work closely together on global issues such as security, disarmament and non-proliferation, human rights, the post-2015 development agenda, environment, climate change and UN Security Council reform, based on their shared commitment to common democratic values, peace and security, free trade and investment, and international law.

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