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Goff announces new Ambassador to Japan

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

23 November 2004

Goff announces new Ambassador to Japan

Career diplomat John McArthur is to be New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Japan, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

He will succeed Phillip Gibson, who early next year will move full-time to the position of New Zealand Commissioner-General for the Aichi Expo.

Dr McArthur’s appointment had come at a significant time in the relationship between the two countries, Mr Goff said.

“Japan’s economy is on the road to recovery. Competition for Japan’s attention, and a share in its huge market and investment flows, is intensifying. We need to make sure New Zealand is well placed to benefit from the opportunities available.

"Japan represents one of New Zealand’s bedrock relationships. It is out third-largest trading partner, with exports there totalling $3,286,176 million for the year to June. Japan is also a key political partner for New Zealand, both bilaterally and for the influence it exerts on global issues,” Mr Goff said.

Dr McArthur has had close links with Asia throughout his career. He has served at diplomatic posts in Beijing and Shanghai, and in the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei. He speaks both Japanese and Chinese.

Before embarking on language training in Japan last year, he was director of the Security Policy Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington.

Dr McArthur takes up his post in Tokyo in mid-February.

ENDS

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