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Prime Minister Launches Japan-NZ Book

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley launched the book "Japan and New Zealand - 150 Years" in Parliament today.

The book, which chronicles the history of relations between Japan and New Zealand over the last century and a half, is an initiative of the Japanese Government, and will be published in Japanese as well as English.

"The cultural link between Japan and New Zealand is very strong but we can never take it for granted. It must be worked on constantly," Mrs Shipley said.

"Our young people, both New Zealanders and Japanese, also need to be aware of our shared history - both the good times and the difficult, so that the links are maintained and improved from generation to generation.

"That is why a book such as the one we are launching here this afternoon is so important.

"Japan and New Zealand - 150 Years", is a first attempt to draw the threads of the bilateral relationship together, and to put in context the many and varied contacts and exchanges the two countries have had.

"The book is a result of the excellent initiative of the Japanese Government to introduce Japan to her Asian-Pacific neighbours and vice versa.

"The fact that this book will be translated into Japanese is a further sign of the real relevance the book will have to both countries, and I hope that the book is widely read both here and in Japan," the Prime Minister concluded.

ENDS

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