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Sports Diplomacy strengthens NZ-Japan Relationship


For release: 1 November 2018

Sports Diplomacy strengthens NZ-Japan Relationship

The Speaker, Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, and senior Member of Parliament, Hon Gerry Brownlee, will undertake the first official parliamentary visit to Japan since 2013 later this week.

Although separated by vast geographical distance with distinct, unique cultures and histories; Japan is one of our most like-minded partners in the Asia Pacific region. Japan shares our unwavering commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and the international trading system. In the current uncertain international climate it is crucial that New Zealand invests in strengthening our relationships with other robust parliamentary democracies, who will champion our values globally.

The short visit to Tokyo, Japan, will take place from 2 to 4 November 2018. The programme includes a formal meeting with the Speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives, His Excellency, Mr Tadamori Ōshima; watching the All Blacks vs Brave Blossoms Test Match alongside senior Japanese Parliamentarians; engagement with Japanese political, business, and sporting leaders. In addition to meetings with students, lecturers, and tertiary administrators to support enhanced academic links between Japan and New Zealand. Japan is also particularly interested in the New Zealand Parliament’s family-friendly approach and our recent success in reaching 40 percent female representation in the House of Representatives.

The Speaker said, “International relationships are grown on the myriad efforts of volunteers, schools, businesses, local bodies, universities, and people-to-people connections. Long-standing linkages in sport have helped to cement our warm friendship with Japan, who is hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, and the World Masters Games in 2021. Rugby and sport loom large in New Zealand’s international identity and I look forward to the excellent opportunity this provides to promote New Zealand’s collective interests and build valuable people-to-people connections, alongside my colleague, Hon Gerry Brownlee”.


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