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Japanese wood market breakthrough welcomed

New Zealand has gained competitive access to the expanding Japanese construction market, after months of lobbying,Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Japan’s new Housing Quality Assurance Law recognised that engineered radiata pine products from New Zealand meet all Japan’s construction durability standards, he said.

“This paves the way for greater Japanese use of these kinds of products.”

Mr Sutton said joint lobbying in Tokyo by New Zealand Embassy officials and the timber industry was vital to this successful outcome.

“Getting access to the lucrative Japanese housing market for New Zealand radiata pine products is a significant development for New Zealand exporters. The laminates and other engineered lumber products covered by the standards represented valued-added exports for New Zealand.

“New Zealand currently exports more than NZ$25 million worth of engineered wood products to Japan. The new standards will enable a substantial increase in the returns to New Zealand from this market.

Japanese homebuilders traditionally use local lumber for their houses. More recently, however Japanese authorities have been trying to reduce the costs of home building and there has been a rapid increase in the use of imported building products and kitset homes, including those from New Zealand.

ends

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